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

Volunteers give psychological counseling to immigrant torture and trauma victims

August 1, 2015

Tags: volunteers, migrants, palermo, sicily, africa, psychological help, immigrants, Mediterranean immigration, violence, trauma, torture

They tell of torture in the country of origin or during the long voyage to Europe, which may last years. But also psychological traumas undergone n the Italy's "welcome centers". The walk-in clinic of Palermo General Hospital Immigration Medicine has been in service for seven years thanks to the work of volunteers who work (more…)

13 cadavers on immigrant vessel

July 28, 2015

Tags: immigration, human trafficking, shipwreck, mediterranean, africa, sicily, siclia, Libya, libia, bottom of the sea, marine graveyard, Frontex, Bossi, Lega Nord, racists, murderers, law

There 13 dead bodies aboard an overloaded boat full of immigrants aided yesterday in the Strait of Sicily by the Irish military boat "L. E. Niamh.". On the refugee boat were 522 people, and the corpses lay among them. The causes of the deaths of the 13 were not clear. Besides this operation, yesterday saw another four (more…)

In Memory of Paolo Borsellino, a real hero who knew who his real enemies were

July 19, 2015

Tags: paolo borsellion, slaughter by state, mafia, palermo, prescient, poster, death anniverserary, murder, isolated

Anti-mafia judge Paolo Borsellino, who was murdered 23 years ago, knew the risks and said so.
The text is from Judge Paolo Borsellino's red diary, the "agenda rossa" which he never showed to others and which he always kept on his person. It disappeared from the site of the bombing in Via D'Amelio which left Borsellino's corpse limbless. It says:
"They will kill me but it won't be by mafia vendetta, the mafia doesn't indulge in revenge. Maybe it will be mafiosi who physically kill me, but the ones who will have wanted me dead will be others."

Palermo commemorates anniversary of murder of anti-Mafia Judge Paolo Borsellino

July 19, 2015

Tags: death, murder by state, mafia, multiple homicide, via D'Amelio, palermo, commemoration

It's Sunday, as it was on this date 23 years ago in Via D'Amelio, Palermo. But this time the street is not deserted and isolated like the one that awaited the three autos carrying Paolo Borsellino and his escort. A speaker's stand, flags, colors and many people await the minute, 4:58 p.m., in which a (more…)

40,000 immigrants to Sicily this year, 4,000 arrived just this week.

July 19, 2015

Tags: immigrants, refugees, sicily, overcrowded, sent away, mediterranean, africa, sicily, italy, pushback laws, rejected, palermo, too much, too many

The most recent arrivals have been turned away and sent to Sardinia and Calabria because Sicilian immigrant "reception" centers, where immigrants are housed and fed while their fates are decided-- accepted as refugee or sent back to Africa -- are overcrowded and not up to the job of accepting or deferring waves of thousands of arrivals. (more…)

Syrian girl, 10, dead because traffickers threw away her insulin

July 18, 2015

Tags: syrian, baby, girl, dead, insulin, refugees, syria, sicily, Egyptian, traffickers, greed, murder, mediterranean, sea, graveyard

A ten-year-old diabetic girl escaping war in Syria boarded a wooden vessel with her father, who has a degree in economics, and her sisters, headed for the Italian coast. They were 320 people squashed together like sardines. The traffickers made more room by throwing the little girl's day pack into the sea. It contained vials of insulin (more…)

Feast of S. Rosalia started today

July 14, 2015

Tags: festino, palermo, sicily, santa rosalia, feast, annual, religious, procession

Crowds outside the Palermo cathedral
The 391st edition of the five-day Feast of Santa Rosalia started today outside the cathedral where her bones are kept in a giant silver urn. The theme of this year's "festino" is Misericordia, which translates as mercy or benevolence.

A restored palace in Via Maqueda

July 13, 2015

Tags: palazzo Gravina, palermo, sicily, palace, restoration, chandeliers, fresco, ceiling, proud, beauty, urban

You cannot tell a book by its cover. From the outside this palace does not look like much. The man who showed me around has a workshop downstairs. He went to school in this building, now a private residence owned by the family who once owned Palermo's soccer team. And a pasta factory.

Santa Rosalia arrives by sea like the immigrants

July 13, 2015

Tags: mercy, benevolence, immigration, mayor, Leoluca Orlando, Palermo, sicily, example, good behavior, Festino, santa rosalia, patron, immigration

Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando arrived with a statue of Santa Rosalia, the city's patroness, in Mondello, saying the symbolic act reminds everyone that many, many immigrants arrive by sea too, and that they deserve to be welcomed and loved. The theme of this year's five-day feast, which begins Tuesday, is La Misericordia. It means (more…)

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