The Myth of The Seasons and Lake Pergusa

One day, the goddess Persephone was picking flowers along the shores of what is Lake Pergusa when she plucked a beautiful narcissus from the earth. When uprooted, the earth caved in and from the abyss came Hades on his mighty chariot and carried her off. Upon her kidnapping, her mother, Demeter (or Ceres) the goddess of agriculture, went in search for her daughter, and as such abandoned the crops she governed over, leaving them to become barren and unfruitful. Zeus, the father of Persephone, put a stop to the famine by ordering the release of his daughter; Hades obliged (by now he and Persephone had a son, Pluto) but not without her first consuming a pomegranate seed as a sign of fidelity to him, and her promising to return to him for 4 months every year. Every time, Demeter would again plunge into sorrow, and the fields once again were ungerminated. This myth of the cycle of abandonment and reunion mirrors the winter which fails to produce bounty, while the springtime leads to joy and plenty.

Hollywood, Polizzi Generosa


Vincent Schiavelli was a gifted character actor who appeared in films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus. As a child he grew up steeped in his grandfather's tales about his time as a nobleman's in-house cook in Sicily. So enamored was he with the stories of his homeland that Schiavelli sought to come back to his roots, electing to leave the dehumanized cinematic world and move to Polizzi Generosa, his ancestral village. Granted honorary citizenship to the town, Schiavelli died in 2005 after a long illness and requested burial in the town of his roots.

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