Viva Santa Lucia!

A sloping street that leads to the sea in Ortigia, Sicily.  In the side of the building that lines the street, a small statue and plaque that reads Viva Santa Lucia.

written by AlexLucia the name, (pronounced Lu-chee-uh) has a special meaning for Mom and me. It all started several years ago when Mom was first imagining her ideal property in Italy for hosting yoga and meditation retreats.  She envisioned a villa with sun-filled rooms opening up onto a central courtyard and wanted to find an Italian name that evoked the spirit of the place she had in mind.   

Light has a great literal and metaphorical significance, and in Italian it’s luce (luch-ay), so Casa di Luce (House of Light) seemed fitting.  We’re not sure who made the mistake– if it was me telling Mom that the word for light was lucia or if it was Mom assuming luce was written lucia– but anyway, the house that would-be came to be written as Casa di Lucia (Lucia’s house.)  

As my Italian improved –or when I saw what Mom had written– (however the story goes!) we soon realized our error, but decided to look up the name to see to whom we had been dedicating our dream house.

A quick look at a name-meaning site, and we found that it comes from Latin and means light. Further reading and we found out about Santa Lucia or Saint Lucy, the patron saint of the blind (or otherwise ocularly-ailed) and an important saint in Scandinavian countries where winter days have little to no light.

A zoomed view of the small statue and plaque that reads Viva Santa Lucia.

One day, walking from the cathedral to the seaside in Ortigia (part of Syracuse in Sicily) I happened upon this little street.  I was immediately drawn to the coloration of the building, the slope of the street and the sea backdrop and was ready to snap a picture when I noticed a small statue and plaque that read Viva Santa Lucia. At that point, I really had to have a picture and I emailed it to Mom the first chance I got.

For us, Santa Lucia has come to represent the metaphorical stepping out of darkness into light. She’s a reminder of our quest to bring a little “light” into our lives and hopefully into the lives of others.  So yes, long live Santa Lucia! – And Casa di Lucia our house shall be.
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Images by Alex

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Posted in 73Travel and Discovery, courtyard, italy, light, meditation, mind-body-spirit, retreat, Santa Lucia, spirit of place, stone architecture.

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