John Julius Norwich takes the EAFOL16 audience, including Festival blogger Rebecca, on a journey through Sicily
John Julius Norwich is a compelling story teller leading his audience through the rich history of the Mediterranean with the island of Sicily as the key protagonist. This was a fascinating story of a ‘magnificent but sad’ island, one of the largest in the Mediterranean, and at times a key trading hub. As someone with a personal interest in Italy, I was bewitched by the stories of intrigue and collaboration, of growth and isolation and of extraordinary beauty and devastation. Norwich’s photographs of elaborate mosaics and astonishing murals, of building styles influenced by the Greeks, Normans, Romans and Bourbons helped illustrate the wonders of this amazing island and its tumultuous and at times, uneventful past. Taking us through the key periods of its development ending with Garibaldi and the unification of Italy, Norwich left us in no doubt that this island represented the best and the worst of this region’s history, a telling symbol for today’s political challenges.