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

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…)

Scopello, yesterday

February 22, 2015

Tags: scopello, blue, water, mediterranean, sea, sicily, sicilia, tonnara, scogli

Nice to think of these places during a Vermont winter. There used to be a tonnara here. The water is deep and cold because the seafloor drops off steeply just a few yards from shore.

"It is a delirium," says mayor of Lampedusa

February 17, 2015

Tags: refugees, immigrants, boats, mediterranean, graveyard, emergency, influx, people, shipwreck, rescue, death, drowning, rubber boats, Lampedusa, Agrigentino

Two hundred arrivals at Pozzallo yesterday. Another 642 expected to land at Porto Empedocle today. The immigration center at the island of Lampedusa, which had been closed down because of the worst conditions, de-staffed and opened only for emergencies is now back in use, run by a non-profit. They have 250 beds but 1,215 people to house (more…)

The Immigrants who Risk Their Lives to Get to Sicily

February 16, 2015

Tags: refugees, immigrants, boats, mediterranean, graveyard, emergency, influx, people, shipwreck, rescue, death, drowning, rubber boats

They risk everything to arrive with nothing as clandestine refugees who cross the Mediterranean, now become a graveyard for thousands like them.

More than 300 dead

February 11, 2015

Tags: tragedy, sicily, refugees, death toll, lampedusa, frontex, triton

More than 300 dead. The 29 bodies were just those that were recovered. There four gommoni, large rubber rafts, in the worst seas the Italian coast guard had ever seen. The survivors said they were forced to leave Libya at gunpoint. The 29 bodies were PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN RESCUED off the coast of Libya but died (more…)

29 Body Bags full of Cadavers of Refugees

February 10, 2015

Tags: immigration, africa, sicily, europe, frontex, boat, freeze, refugees, dead, froze, rescue, emergency, wave, europe, italy, sicily, sicilia

Twenty-nine people died of exposure to the cold on a rescue from the sea. They died while being rushed to Lampedusa, the Sicilian island closest to Africa. They were rescued from some of the worst conditions at sea, waves twenty feet high.

Update: here is the story in the NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/ (more…)

What you are not seeing in American media

February 9, 2015

Tags: refugees, desperate, dead, cold, 20-foot waves, africa, immigration, emergency, Libia, Lampedusa

Voyages of desperation. The Mediterranean is a graveyard for people trying to escape, war, famine, cruel dictators and genocide at the hands of Boko Haram.

Serpotta slideshow

February 8, 2015

Tags: Serpotta, photo, slideshow, palermo, Luciano Romeo fotografo, white, sculpture, churches, oratorio, chapel



https://www.flickr.com/photos/luciano52/15097563993/


Photo slide show of Serpotta's white plaster sculptures at Palermo. Incredible.
Photos by Luciano Romeo. Excellent!!!! Open the slide show and use the zoom tool to see the incredible details.

Palermo by day

February 8, 2015

Tags: palermo, panorama, beauty, sicily, sicilia

Here is a fine shot of Palermo by day, the same scene as Palermo by Night, of my Feb. 1 blog post below. If you don't look down at the refuse and garbage on the ground, things look really good.

Park at Piazza Independenza a Mess

February 7, 2015

Tags: park, palermo, piazza Independenza, rude, uncivilized, jerks, vandals, abandon, no care

This park,used very much by retired me who sit in the sun and play cards, has been vandalized, abused and neglected, like so many spots in Palermo. You have to take the good with the bad here.

Abandoned beauty

February 6, 2015

Tags: demetra, demeter, mosaic, liberty, art deco, panificio morello, il capo, palermo, sicily, art, beauty, abandoned

Here is the mosaic of Il Capo, one of Palermo's three suqs. It is an art deco (in Sicily they would say Stile Liberty) mosaic depicting Demeter, the goddess of grains and agriculture, the mother of Persephone, and it is embedded in the exterior wall of the now closed Panificio Morello. A few tiles (more…)

Live broadcast: Catania's feast of S. Agata

February 5, 2015

Tags: feast, agata, catania, sicily, festa di sant'agata

The feast is happening live, now, and Antenna Sicilia broadcasts salient parts live on the internet for several hours at a time.

Italy's New President a Victim of the Mafia

February 1, 2015

Tags: mafia, mattarella, palermo, ucciso, fratello

Today Sergio Mattarella, who in 1980 pulled his dead brother, Piersanti, then President of the Sicilian region, from his car, was elected President of the Republic of Italy. Yes, if you lose your brother to dirty assassins, you are a victim. A man from the south, one who has shed tears because of the Mafia, is now at the head of the country. (more…)

Palermo By Night

February 1, 2015

Tags: palermo, night, sicily, beauty

Palermo by Night
She is never more beautiful. This is a view of the Palermo cathedral from a rooftop in the historic center. Photographer unknown to me.

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