In Ancient Greek mythology, Apollo, the Sun god, was the bearer of an intellectual light, even before a physical one.
Historically, Apollo's cult is strongly linked with Taranto in Southern Italy, historically known as Magna Graecia, and therefore it is not surprising that in the Ionian area - precisely in Monteiasi - a temple dedicated to the god was inaugurated over the weekend, reported La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno.
This is not a restoration of ancient ruins, nor a conversion of existing structures, but a construction built from scratch by the religious organisation "Pietas", which are also responsible for the construction the temple of Jupiter in Rom, Minerva Medica in Pordenone and Apollo in Palermo.
Yesterday it was Puglia's turn to greet the inauguration of the first temple in the region, an event that, thanks to the public rite of consecration, with the recitation of poems in Latin and ancient Greek, attracted the interest of citizens, as well worshipers of traditional religions.
The rediscovery of the ancient, not only on a cultural level but also on a spiritual level, is now a widespread phenomenon in Europe, from Greece to the Baltic republics, from Iceland to Italy, where "Pietas", the most structured organisation, boasts of over 1,600 members.
"Ours is a very long path, with deep roots," said Giuseppe Barbera, president of the association and pontiff of the community, which is registered by the Italian state. "We are a rapidly growing reality, with adhesions from all over Italy and solid relations with foreign countries starting with India."
As for the temple, yesterday's initiative is not to be considered an isolated exploit: "Our worship is mainly domestic and we do not proselytise but we create temples as a reference point for the community and the collectivity."
"Anyone who wants to visit will be welcome. Access is free and it will be sufficient to look out onto Via Cristoforo Colombo in Monteiasi. Now Puglia also has a physical reference on its territory. And for those who knock, the doors are always open," Barbera concluded.
Thus the classical Ancient Greek cult has returned to Magna Graecia.