The Malta Independent 24 February 2020, Monday

Ancient and medieval study tour through the west of Sicily

Thursday, 14 March 2019, 15:26 Last update: about 13 months ago

This year's much anticipated University of Malta Faculty of Arts Mediterranean Study Tour will be taking participants through an ancient and medieval journey across the west of Sicily.

The tour will be held between the 5th and 10th of May and will see the group exploring places such as Alcamo, Selinunte, Castelvetrano, Sciacca, Caltabellotta, Motya, Marsala, Trapani and Mazara together with Maritime Archaeologist Professor Timmy Gambin, Late Medieval and Renaissance Art Historian Dr Charlene Vella, and Medieval Historian Dr Mark Anthony Aloisio.

"This is the fifth year we are hosting this study tour. Past editions have seen us visiting eastern Sicily, the Campania region of Italy, Cyprus and Provence in France. There exists a keen and growing interest in these interactive educational events by many people and not just students; in fact, although the tour is mainly aimed at students, we are welcoming a growing number of guest participants," says Dr Charlene Vella, the tour organiser.

Talking about the choice of this year's tour locations, Dr Vella explained how every year, the sites visited appeal to those who have an interest and passion for Mediterranean history and culture but which always include a connection with Malta.

"The focus of each and every tour is centred on exploring a territory that borders the Mediterranean Sea which is home to a number of diverse cultures. Through each tour we explore a different area of this cradle of civilization where a number of cultures, religions, art forms met, and were exchange was constant. With its unique position in the centre of the Mediterranean basin, Malta has experienced so much in its long history that reveals that the Maltese islands were very much part of the broader Mediterranean context. It is this context that these annual study tours try to bring to the fore," said Dr Charlene Vella.

"This year's destination is largely based on the expertise of the three academics who have devised the program but we will also be exploiting some of our esteemed Siclian contacts such as when we will visit Trapani. Here we will be joined by art historian Dott.ssa Roberta Cruciata who knows Malta well and studies the exchange that went on with Sicily and who will give us a specialised tour of the Pepoli Museum," added Dr Vella.

The tour is planned down to the last detail, so participants need not worry about making necessary arrangements for tours, excursions and such. Moreover, participating academics are always at hand to answer questions as well as to discuss topics of interest.

The tour is open to anyone with a keen interest in archaeology, history and art.

For more information, contact Dr Vella on [email protected] or Karen Pace on [email protected] / 23402295

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