Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






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Out of Palermo

The wall of kindness

February 7, 2016

Tags: palermo, urban, wall of kindness, muro della gentilezza, sicily, poor, immigrants, mosque, Via Celso, sicilia, kindness, heart, center, giving, generous, thoughtful

The wall of Kindness in Via Celso in the city center
Following a European trend, someone in the heart of Palermo has started a "Wall of Kindness". One clothesline where people can leave what they want to donate, or take what they need, not far from the city's principal mosque. Here is a one-minute video report from La Repubblica.

Fra Biagio's Hunger Strike wins a round against developer

February 4, 2016

Tags: Fra Biagio, biagio conte, mission, Hope and Charity, protest, letter, pope, president, Via Archrafi, sheds, promise, palermo

Fra Biagio Conte, founder of Palermo's urban Mission of Hope and Charity, which feeds, houses, trains and cares for more than a thousand homeless people a day in four urban centers, has won a victory. The developer who bought the property adjacent to his Via Archirafi shelter where homeless men collect cardboard to recycle (more…)

Cityscape

January 31, 2016

Tags: Palermo, Monte Pellegrino, vista, view, anorama, beauty, bellezza, sicily, capital, island, mediterranean

A beautiful view of Palermo
Palermo can take your breath away. Monte Pellegrino is in the background. This greensward is where the Luna Park amusement park was for many years.

Sicily: Culture and Conquest to be at British Museum

January 29, 2016

Tags: sicily, culture, conquest, artifacts, British Museum, show, museum, history, story

From The Guardian:
"In 1066 the Normans were not just conquering grey, cold England. They were also in sunny, fertile Sicily creating what became one of the most enlightened cultures in Europe.
The little known story of the other Norman conquest is to be told in an exhibition exploring 4,000 years of history on the island (more…)

Fra Biagio Conte sleeping outdoors again

January 27, 2016

Tags: Fra Biagio, biagio conte, mission, Hope and Charity, protest, letter, pope, president, Via Archrafi, sheds, promise, palermo

The city and regional government have broken their promises and robbed the poor of hope says lay missionary Fra Biagio Conte whose Mission of Hope and Charity houses and feeds more than a thousand destitute people, Palermitans and immigrants alike in four urban missions and now on several farms in Sicily. Fra Biagio says (more…)

723 migrants, one dead body arrived Trapani this a.m.

January 25, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.museum, brtish museum, artifact, current culture, european

The Norwegian Frontex ship Siem Pilot picked up 723 migrants at sea and the body of one Somali man who died during the voyage, according to La Repubblica.
Among the migrants were 29 unaccompanied minors , several pregnant women and a handicapped person with leg problems. This morning they were brought to safe harbor in Trapani.

More hexagons

January 24, 2016

Tags: Via Cartari, Kalsa, Palero, Sicily, paving, stones, hexagonal, hexagon, nice touch, antiquity, beauty, old, city, urban

Via Cartari in the Kalsa, just a block east of the boulevard Via Vittorio Emanuele, is honeycombed with six-sided paving stones.
Via Cartari is one of the few historic streets to retain its hexagonal paving stone. I lived just a block from this little street and saw it every time I walked to the Antica Focacceria San Francesco. This was the paper makers' street. A great neighborhood. Gotta tell you that the photographer had smelly (more…)

Cityscape: Via Castelnuovo

January 23, 2016

Tags: Vicolo Castelnuovo, palermo, albegheria, via Vittorio Emanuele, paving stones, hexagonal

Another medieval street with hexagonal paving stones
Vicolo Castelnuovo is off the Via Vittorio Emanuele in the Albergheria quarter. Only a few streets in Palermo are still paved with these elegant hexagonal paving stones. The street is surprisingly free of garbage. South Asians live here.

Uncork Mt. Etna Tour with LaRosa Works

January 21, 2016

Tags: Uncork Etna, tour, LaRosa Works, Catania, wine, winemakers spectacular, dining, guides, vineyards, travel, tourism, Linguaglossa

The New York-based Sicily lover and connoisseur Karen La Rosa of LaRosa Works offers her limited-participation UNCORK MOUNT ETNA TOUR to be held May 30 - June 6, 2016. The group will explore vineyards, meet winemakers and learn from the pros in spectacular settings ranging from Catania to towns on the slopes of Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. The tour includes fine dining in spectacular settings, private transportation and guides to accompany the group. (more…)

Lampedusa Cross now in British Museum

January 20, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.museum, brtish museum, artifact, current culture, european

When an overcrowded immigrant boat capsized just off the coast of Lampedusa and killed hundreds of people, island carpenter Francesco Tuccio met some of the survivors in his local church. Some of the survivors were Eritrean Christians fleeing from persecution in their home country. Though unable to help them in a concrete way, he (more…)

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