Photographer's Note

Taormina in Eastern Sicily is perched on high hills, and features the ruins of a 6th century BC Greek Theater. In this magical view, the backdrop to the amphitheater is provided by the Mediterranean (through an arched portal, but more prominently, by Mt. Etna. The volcano is the highest of all of the volcanic mountains in a country known to have the highest density of volcanoes in the world. In some of my other visits to the island, I’ve seen it with different faces — sometimes spewing toxic gases, other times covered in snow, and other times still completely hidden in mist — but never allowing itself to be taken for granted.

Archimedes (287-212 BC) lived in nearby Syracusa, and was killed during the Second Punic War between the Romans and the Carthaginians. (He was slain by Roman soldier who had not received word that the the life of the great scientist-mathematician was to be spared.) Three centuries earlier, in the 6th century BC, the natural philosopher Empedocles from nearby Agregento jumped into the caldera of Mt. Etna during one of its eruptions — driven by the misbegotten notion that he would become immortal by doing so. Now, perhaps Empedocles knows whether it worked.

For a more recent dramatic event, in 1996 the amphitheater served as the site for the filming of Woody Allen film, 'Mighty Aphrodite.'

In preparing the image for submission to TE, I cropped it to keep an unsightly modern stage from detracting from its ethereal beauty. This is one view that should be presented with a lesser aspect ratio.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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