Sicily’s seductive beaches and strange symbol

Thursday, December 8th, 2011. Filed under: Europe Italy Legendary Landscapes Myths & Legends
Catellamare del Golfo, Sicily.

Castellamare del Golfo, Sicily.

More than 2,000 years ago, Greek sailors sailing the Mediterranean around Sicily gazed upon its golden shores and likened them to the alluring legs of a woman. They called the island Trinakria, or three pointed, identifying it with the Thrinacia mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey.

The trinacria, symbol of Sicily, Italy.

The trinacria, symbol of Sicily, Italy.

I love to wander Sicily’s beaches in the off season when it’s easy to imagine ancient scenes on deserted shores.
The trinacria is still the symbol of Sicily, appearing on everything including the region’s flag, though in that case the snakes coming from gorgon Medusa’s head have been updated to less-threatening wheat sheaves.

I don’t mind the snakes.  To me, they perfectly represent all the old mountain roads that wind all over this beautiful island.

For more travel inspiration and information, see the Region of Sicily‘s tourism website.

Paradiso nature preserve is on Sicily's south coast, not far from the Greek temples at Selinunte.

Paradiso nature preserve is on Sicily’s south coast, not far from the Greek temples at Selinunte.

Scarab beetles scurry over the dunes at Paradiso nature preserve.

Scarab beetles scurry over the dunes at Paradiso nature preserve.

Alcamo Marina, in Western Sicily.

Alcamo Marina, in Western Sicily.

The old tonnara (tuna fishery) at Scopello.

The old tonnara (tuna fishery) at Scopello.

The popular beach town of San Vito lo Capo, Sicily, hosts an annual Cous Cous Festival.

The popular beach town of San Vito lo Capo, Sicily, hosts an annual Cous Cous Festival.

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