Tag Archives: mosaics

Sant’ Apollinare in Classe: giddy with Byzantine mosaics and too much bread

A few years ago I was browsing for cheap airfares (okay, so I do that everyday) when I found a remarkably cheap flight into Northern Italy.  People, these tickets were under $400, in late May!!!  Obviously I  snapped up the tickets in a hot second.   Almost as quickly, I drafted an itinerary since I already knew where I […]

Mosaics in the Cathedral of Monreale

We’ve already established that I suck at history, and while we’re on the topic of embarrassing self-disclosures, I confess I didn’t realize until recently that Normans were French.  Here’s what I do know about Normans (other than that they all seem to have been named William): they built some gorgeous Romanesque buildings.  In Sicily, once […]

Dazzling mosaics in Cappella Palatina, Palermo and–bonus!–bible stories abridged

Every surface in the Cappella Palatina in Palermo (1140-70) is a pristine work of art.  Study the ceiling, the floor, and of course, at the mosaics.  Don’t be rushed.  This is what happens when great cultures—Arab, Norman and Byzantine–combine synergistically to produce the finest art imaginable.   It was created for Sicilian kings to worship in, with […]

Sicily is an abstract painting

Sicily is an open air museum.  Sure, there are the sensational sights and the glorious landscape, but the details are just as rewarding.  The island is full of off-kilter stripes, a tessellation of tiles, a kaleidoscope of mosaics, crossed-out graffiti, and attractively decaying billboards.  Now that I’ve had a brief taste of Sicily’s main attractions, […]