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.






Tags

Out of Palermo

Ten more victims: immigrants drown at sea. 1,000 survivors expected to arrive tonight

March 4, 2015

Tags: immigration, Mediterranean, graveyard, gommone, rubber raft, drown, victims, arrivals, ships, rescue, death, migration

At least ten people drown when the rubber raft they were in bounced and flipped. They were escaping Africa. They are not allowed in Europe, and so they travel clandestinely, as best they can, because ironically they must set foot in Europe in order to claim asylum. They cannot ask for help from the shores of Tripoli. (more…)

Roberto Helg, head of Palermo's Chamber of Commerce, arrested for extortion

March 3, 2015

Tags: pizzo, protection money, extortion, palermo, chamber of commerce, anti-mafia, blowhard, no trust, hard to run a business in palermo

From today's La Repubblica. This man who paid lip service to anti-extortionists and anti-mafia movements was caught red handed pocketing part of the 100,000-EURO fee he charged a pastry-shop owner in order to renew his lease at the Palermo airport. At first he denied the (more…)

The Sicily of The Leopard

March 1, 2015

Tags: Leopard, gattopardo, documentary, youtube, sicily, lampedusa, literature

A 38-minute black and white documentary in Italian from 1960, about Sicily.

Quattro canti 1865

February 28, 2015

Tags: Quattro Canti, Palermo, Four Corners, 1865, clean, center, city

The Quattro Canti, officially Piazza Vigliena, the four-way intersection at the center of the historic city, in an 1865 photo by Robert Rive. Clean, no traffic, no trash on the ground. No products came prepackaged so there was no packaging to discard. The piazza was named for the Spanish Viceroy Villena who commissioned the showpiece. (more…)

LaRosa Works offers tours to Sicily, more

February 27, 2015

Tags: Karen LaRosa, culture, tours, sicily, passion, energy, villas, bikes, wines, food, olives, travel, New York, events, planning, booster

Karen LaRosa is Sicily's biggest booster, and she takes some excellent photos of the island. Share her enthusiasm at her site: http://larosaworks.com/

Demeter art deco mosaic in the Capo Market years ago

February 26, 2015

Tags: capo, palermo, mosaico, demetra, panificio, morello, patrimonio, artistico, culturale, cultura, culture

Here is a shot of the art deco mosaic of Demeter, the goddess of grain, outside a bread bakery in the Capo market of Palermo. The mosaic is still there. The bakery recently closed. People are forming Facebook groups to save the mosaic, have it put in a museum.

Vermont

February 25, 2015

Tags: vermont, snow

We've had more than seven feet of snow this winter, and no rain to ruin it.
White world.

Scala dei Turchi

February 25, 2015

Tags: scala dei turchi, agrigento, sicilia, sicily, white, blue, sea, mediterranean, beauty, bellezza, mare

We are deep into winter in Vermont and I am thinking about these blue and white places. Sicily is such a beautiful island. Scala dei Turchi is near the big town of Agrigento but actually in the smaller town of Realmonte, where I stayed for a few days in 2010. The white stone is hard-packed gypsum. Realmonte citizens are the happiest Sicilians I have yet found.

Palazzo Valguanera Gangi

February 24, 2015

Tags: Palazzo valguanera gangi, palermo, sicily, sicilia, salone

Just look at it. The aristocrats who danced here probably had their shirts laundered in the Danissini stream (see post below.)

Washerwomen of Danissini, Palermo, early 1900s

February 24, 2015

Tags: danissini, palermo, washerwomen, sicily

In the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the women of Danissini, in downtown Palermo, were renowned launderers for the rich and aristocratic. They took in the counts' and dukes' soiled, frilly white shirts, washed them in the stream you see here and ironed them. Danissini is one of the poorest parts of Palermo. (more…)

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