Marking Time :
On June 15th, my wife and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Since it is a significant milestone, we decided to take a special trip. We are both half-Italian and decided, as we had for our honeymoon, to go to Italy. Both of us had always wanted to visit Sicily (for the record neither of us are Sicilian) and decided this was a great chance to do so. Usually our vacations are not more than a week, but this one we made it for almost 2 weeks.
If you have not been, Sicily is a big and diverse island. It is not possible to see it all in 2 weeks. Perhaps 2 months, but not 2 weeks. So we had to manage our time, pick a couple of places to stay and decide what to see. Sicily is a place of amazing history, playing an important strategic role in the development of civilizations bordering the Mediterranean. There are ruins dating to the age of Phoenician dominance. The Greeks were the first to widely settle Sicily, and the remnants of that era are all over the island, including in an area called the Valley of the Temples. There you can see structures dating to 800 BC - some in such great condition, it looks like they could be used today.
Speaking of that, there is an ampitheatre in a town called Taormina that originally dates to Greek times and later modified by the Romans to its current appearance. Called Teatro Greco, the theater is still used today. In fact, right after our time there, a film festival was to commence. Sorry we missed it! Sitting in the seemingly ageless setting, one gazes upon another site even more timeless - smoldering Mount Etna.
One final thought on marking time. The Sunday following our anniversary, we attended mass at a beautiful baroque church in Palermo, The Basilica of San Domenico. After mass, my wife (who is never shy in such matters) went up to the priest and asked him to give us a blessing for our 10th. Speaking in Italian (so I think I understood him) he wished us a happy 10th and that our blessing last for 10 times 10 times 10. In such a timeless place, a timely blessing indeed!