Heart of Palermo
"I shall tattoo Sicily on my chest," said this man who had passed out in a Covid coma in Lombardy and woken up in Palermo. Lombardia hospitals were full so Ettore Consonni was airlifted by military plane to Palermo. He kept his promise. He had the tattoo artist draw Sicily and its three-legged symbol, the Trinacria, on his chest, with the names of his children and grandchildren. " I did it to remind me of all the doctors and nurses who took care of me, loved me and saved my life," says Ettore, 61, a retired store owner. He was flown in a coma to the Civico Hospital in Palermo. "In the ICU I heard a Sicilian accent, and I thought it was some Sicilian doctor emigre," he said. "They told me I was in Palermo, but I thought they were joking," he told Giorgio Ruta, a reporter for La Repubblica. After 23 days in intensive care, on 6 April, he started to breathe again without the ventilator. And in that moment he swore to doctors and nurses: "As soon as this is all over I will get a tattoo of your beautiful island." Said and done." In Lombary he found Sicilyagain yesterday in the tattoo shop, where the artist gave him his tattoo for free, because his mother and grandparents are from Sicily.
My cousin, Joann Maggio West, put together this video.
From "The Guardian":
As Italy struggles to pull its economy through the coronavirus crisis, the Mafia is gaining local support by distributing free food to poor families in quarantine who have run out of cash, authorities have warned.
In recent weeks, videos have surfaced of known Mafia gangs delivering essential goods to Italians hit hard by the coronavirus emergency across the poorest southern regions of Campania, Calabria, Sicily and Puglia, as tensions are rising across the country.
"For over a month, shops, cafés, restaurants, and pubs have been closed", Nicola Gratteri, antimafia investigator and head of the prosecutor's office in Catanzaro, told the Guardian. "Millions of people work in the grey economy, which means that they haven't received any income in more than a month and have no idea when they might return to work. The government is issuing so-called shopping vouchers to support people. If the state doesn't step in soon to help these families, the mafia will provide its services, imposing their control over people's lives."...
From the first signals of mounting social unrest, the Italian minister of the interior, , said ''the mafia could take advantage of the rising poverty, swooping in to recruit people to its organisation''. Or simply stepping in to distribute free food parcels of pasta, water, flour and milk. Read More
from today's The Guardian.....
Legend has it that in 1625, as a plague swept Palermo and killed dozens of people each day, Saint Rosalia appeared before a man.
Rosalia, a young Sicilian hermit who died 500 years earlier, told him that if the people of Palermo walked in procession while carrying her relics, to be found in a grotto on Monte Pellegrino, then the "evil fever" would disappear.
After months of debate over the authenticity of that apparition, Saint Rosalia's remains – among them a piece of her jaw and three fingers – were paraded through the city at an event attended by thousands of devotees. When the plague began to ebb, she was proclaimed the holy protector of the city.
Four hundred years later, the prayers that Palermitans offer to Saint Rosalia travel in chain messages on WhatsApp. They are asking her for another miracle: free the city of coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,000 people in Italy.
... and then I found this video on the Facebook group, Palermo di una volta. Someone plays a song really loud and all the neighbors, confined to their homes in the San Lorenzo neighborhood of Palermo, come out to their balconies and sing along and dance. MARVELOUS!!! Here is the link:
Twenty years ago my first book came out. I have just scanned some vintage slides and negs and will be sharing them here. Just for fun.