Camarina and Gela

On Friday, we took the longish drive to the south coast of Sicily primarily to see the wonderful coin and vase collections of the Museum in Gela. The city itself is less than scenic, fronted, like two other Greek colonies by an oil refinery, but the museum is fantastic. Outside you can also see the old acropolis of Gela, with a reconstructed column from a c.500 temple of Athena:


The weather was not the best, and we had to dodge showers and lean hard into the wind, but we also got to visit the colony of Camarina, a colony of Syracuse’s and then Gela’s, which repeatedly asserted its independence and then got sacked for its impertinence. What remains is not spectacular, but its temple of Athena, also c.500, reveals part of the foundations under an old farmhouse, now the museum, as well as lots of decorative elements found around the site — including architectural terracottas of various sorts, and some colonnade elements. The museum also has some very interested materials recovered from shipwrecks — and you can walk down to the 4th century agora, but the wind was something of a hindrance…


On Sunday we did however get fantastic weather for a (serie A) soccer game between Catania and Siena — Siena may be a small town, but their team is playing fine soccer right now and put Catania, flying high after defeating island rivals Palermo 4-0 last week, in its place, 3-0. Ouch. Still, a fine time was had by all:


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