LA MIA SIRACUSA, a talk by Susan Kikoler

Founded in 734 BCE by the Corinthian Greeks, capital of the Byzantine Empire in 663CE, today a popular film location (the latest Indiana Jones), subject to the mass tourism of morde e fugge, I first discovered Syracuse through Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors and a Rogers and Hart musical. 52 years on I know better. There will be tales of monuments, myths, and miracles but also of Plato, St Paul, Nelson and Churchill, the eccentricities of the old Bourbon aristocracy, a WWII secret, and stories of village life with its rivalries and passions: where a murder in Avola caused a change to Italian law. There is also modern Syracuse, a microcosm of Southern Italian life with all its challenges. Above all, this is la mia Siracusa and, in a way, the story of six “theatres”.


Susan Kikoler was born in London of Russian/Polish ancestry and fell in love with Italy visiting Florence as a teenager. After studying English Language and Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, she taught English for five years in Syracuse, Sicily, before moving to Canada and finally the UK. Her portfolio career has been based on her interest in and knowledge of Italy whether as lecturer, (Canada, Brazil, Italy and the UK), writer, interpreter, or consultant. Since 2004 she has been the Honorary Director of the British-Italian Society and was awarded the title of Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella D’Italia in 2005 for promoting Italian culture. Her other great passion is theatre. She was a Drama Assessor for the London Arts Board and has served three times on the panel of the Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards.

Her latest lecture The History of the Jews of Lombardy: Mantua, Milan and Mantegna is available on YouTube.


A drinks reception will follow the talk


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Monday 11 March 2024