This is One Big Ear

I’m traveling in Sicily. Many wonderful things including fabulous food, wine, Greek and Roman ruins, Sicilians, olives. These photos are from archeological park near Siracusa.

This cave is called Dionysius’s Ear, Orecchio di Dionisio. It was carved out of limestone in Greek/Roman times as a place to store water. The digging technique was ingenious and also labor intensive. Like many big projects in ancient times, it was accomplished using slave labor.

The painter Caravaggio coined the term Orrechio de Dionisio. The name refers not to the Greek god but to a legendary tyrant named Dionysus's earDionisio 1 of Siracusa. He supposedly built the cave and used it to imprison enemies. Because of the perfect acoustics he could eavesdrop on their plans from an opening near the top. Oreccio di Dionysio

A flexible ear trumpet was named after the cave, and The Ear of Dionysius is also sometimes used as a reference to spying.

If you know of other legendary sites that feature the ear, please let me know about them using the comment section.

3 thoughts on “This is One Big Ear

  1. Well, Katherine, I am envious! (In a nice way, of course) I can only imagine the joy of being in such a profoundly historical place. The food has to be wonderful.

    An update from my end: I am to be implanted on May 6 with the AB Nadia Q90. I am busy deciding on accessories. When authorizations came together things began to happen.

    Travel safely. I look forward to your posts. Jerry H


    • The Roger — that’s a story to discuss before our HLAA travel chapter meeting. Much of my advice turns out to be useless in a country where you only get one or two outlets per room. Essentials only: cochlear implant batteries and cell phone/camera.


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