SPARK Flossie Pack Center for Lifelong Learning

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Recorded | Sicily, the Island at the Crossroads of the World with Rob Seaver – Summer 2021

Previously recorded class.


You will be sent the link to a private playlist of all recorded sessions of this class.


YouTube Recording – You will be sent a link to a private playlist containing all sessions from Summer 2021 within 48 hours during standard office hours.

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, was the ultimate prize in the ancient Greek and Roman world. Fertile beyond imagining, the ancient Greeks began colonizing the island in the 8th century BCE and people have been fighting for control of the island ever since. While most of the perimeter of the island was colonized by the Greeks, a significant part of Sicily was colonized by the Carthaginians, the archrivals of the Romans. After exploring ancient Sicily, we will move on to Palermo, once the splendid capital of Muslim Sicily before becoming the greatest city of the Norman conquerors during the late Middle Ages, second in importance only to Constantinople.

We will pause and explore the unparalleled wonders of Monreale before moving on to explore the grandeur of Baroque Sicily, with an emphasis on Palermo and the genius of Giacomo Serpotta. Finally, we will end our exploration of this enchanted island with a consideration of modern Sicily, its importance in the Allied victory in WWII and its on-going struggle to find its place in the modern world.
During our tour of this magnificent island, we will take some detours to discuss the uniqueness of Sicilian cuisine and our enduring fascination with all things Corleone.


Instructor: Rob Seaver has been in love with Italy his entire life. He first set foot on Italian soil at the tender age of nine months and has been going back ever since. A painter and art historian by training, he has crisscrossed Italy more often than Hannibal. Having lived in Italy nearly 30 years of his life, he reckons he has crossed the Rubicon at least a thousand times. Robert’s lifelong exploration of Italy has been focused primarily on Italian art, architecture, opera and food; in short, most of the things which comprise the good life. Join Robert as he takes you on an unforgettable journey to experience some of the endless treasures of the country at the heart of Western Civilization.

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