May 25 - June 5, 1999
To be held at the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture, Erice, Sicily, Italy
|The Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture was founded in 1963 in the pre-medieval mountain town of Erice near Palermo as a Conference Centre, taking its inspiration from the Italian Physicist, Ettore Majorana. The Centre's lecture halls are located in two restored monasteries (San Rocco and San Domenico) and the ancient Palazzo Ventimiglia - former residence of the Viceroys of Sicily and subsequently a convent named after San Francesco. School participants are housed in the Centre Institutes or local hotels and meals are taken at local restaurants.|
|According to legend, Erice, the son of Venus and Neptune, founded a small town on top of a mountain (750 Meters above sea level) more than three thousand years ago. Thucydides (~500 B.C.) said that the Elymi - the founders of Erice - were survivors of the destruction of Troy. Ancients historians agreed that Erice was the oldest city in Europe.
Homer (~1,000 B.C.), Theocritus (~300 B.C.), Polybius (~200 B.C.), Virgil (~50 B.C.), Horace (~20 B.C.) and others have celebrated this magnificent spot in Sicily in their poems. In Erice you can admire the Castle of Venus, the Cyclopean Walls (~800 B.C.) and the Gothic Cathedral (~1300 A.D.). Erice is at present a mixture of ancient and medieval architecture.
Other masterpieces of ancient civilization are to be found in the neighborhood at Motya (Phoenician), Segesta (Elymian) and Selinunte (Greek). On the Aegadian Islands - theater of the decisive naval battle of the first Punic War (264-241 B.C.) - neolithic and paleolithic cave paintings and carvings are still visible in the grottos of Favignana and Levanzo.
Splendid beaches are to be found within about an hour's drive from Erice at San Vito Lo Capo, Scopello and Cornino.
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©1999 By Robin Holbrook, all rights reserved.