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

New arrivals

June 30, 2015

Tags: refugees, palermo, ports, ireland, ship, mediterranean, arrivals

An Irish military ship , Le Eithne, picked up 647 migrants in trouble at sea and brought them to Palermo. Among them were 95 women, two of whom were pregnant. A group of 180 migrans were transferred by ferry from Lampedusa to Porto Empedocle where they will arrive this evening.

The Unwilling Expat interviews me

June 23, 2015

Tags: unwilling expat, blogger, australian, sicily, interview, theresa maggio

Rochelle Del Borrello asked me some interesting questions, and I answered.
https://unwillingexpat.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/the-poetry-of-theresa-maggio/

Italians have heart

June 23, 2015

Tags: italians, immigrants, border, Italy, France, cell phones, solar panel, heart, generous, thoughtful, off the grid, peasant, farmer



From La Repubblica. A peasant farmer whose own home and farm is off the grid, set up a solar panel for the immigrants who are sleeping on the rocks at Ventimiglia, the border between (more…)

I cry for Sicily when I watch this

June 23, 2015

Tags: giovanni falcone, state funeral, pantheon, san domenico, anger, state, assassins, the state killed him



The state funeral of Giovanni falcone, and his police escort, blown up on the highway in Capaci, at the Church of San Domenico, Palermo's Pantheon of illustrious Sicilians. Falcone is buried here foever, after having been transferred from his family vault. (more…)

Mafia stronghold given to scouts today

June 23, 2015

Tags: altarello di baida, palermo, mafia, scouts, italy, confiscated, andreotti, matarella, assassination, collusion, state, mafia, pre-Riina

The first property Judge Giovanni Falcone confiscated from the mafia in 1980 will be given officially to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Italy today, although they have been camping and working here for years. The rual compound also contains a qanat and a sirocco room which I visited with Geologist Dr. Pietro Todaro. The (more…)

Refugees become Volunteers for New Refugees

June 20, 2015

Tags: refugee, palermo, caritas, help, volunteer, sbarchi, arrivals, immigration, illegal, africa, mali, ivory coast, ships, mediterranean, port

A beautiful story by my favorite La Repubblica reporter, Claudia Brunetto. I translate it here:
They arrived last June at the port of Palermo, picked up on the high seas by a military ship. And since then they live in the parish of Falsomiele, guided by Father Sergio Mattaliano, director of the Catholic charity (more…)

Inside Santa Cita

June 19, 2015

Tags: Santa Cita, Oratorio del santissimo rosario in Santa Cita, palermo, giacomo Serpotta, stucco, white sculture, art, masterpiece, baroque, exuberant, puti, cherubs, breathtaking, restored, white, rosary

View of the back wall of the Oratorio of Santa Cita, by Giacomo Serpotta
This often happens in Palermo. The outside is gruesome, or at least, uninviting. Inside, the big surprise.

Funny and Sad

June 19, 2015

Tags: santa cita, palermo, obscene, cultural heritage, priest, vandals, graffiti, phallic, symbols, curse, words, obliterate, funny, sad, typical, illogical, abandoned monumnets, monumnet, serpotta, sculpture

The crumbling wall of the Oratorio of the Most Holy Rosary in Santa Cita, known locally in Palermo as just "Santa Cita" is covered with obscene graffiti. Inside is one of the baroque masterpieces of stucco moulding, by Palermitano sculptor Giacomo Serpotta, an all-white extravaganza recently cleaned and restored. But on the outside were phallic symbols, (more…)

Latest wave of refugees saved

June 8, 2015

Tags: violence, migrants, immigrants, refugess, italy, sicily, africa, human traffickers, trafficking, death, murder, awful

860 refugees reached land at Palermo, another 548 at Trapani. Many are already looking for a ticket to nortern Europe. Over the weekend 5,851 people were saved from the Mediterraneaean Sea. According to souces in Rome the number of immigrants landing since the beginning of the year are ten percent more than in the same time period (more…)

2,000 migrants saved at sea, 3,000 more still at sea

June 6, 2015

Tags: migrants, boats, rescue, sicily, italy, coast guard, immigration, boat people, arrival, save, help

Since this morning 2,000 immigrants have been saved at sea by Italian naval vessels and the ship Moas Phoenix of the Mr. and Mrs Catrambone. (Catrambone is a wealthy Italian-American businessman based in Malta and his wife is from Calabria. The first time she saw a floating jacket in the Mediterranean from her yacht and (more…)

Giovanni Falcone: in memoriam

June 3, 2015

Tags: giovanni falcone, foto

Giovanni Falcone
Read Alexander Stille's moving book, Exquisite Corpses.

How Falcone Died

June 3, 2015

Tags: photo, foto, strage, Capaci, 23 maggio 1992, falcone, veicoli, esplosione, bomba, explosion, highway, assassination, kill, mafia, judge, hero, martyr, inevitable

How he was killed.
A photo of the explosion site on the highway in Capaci, between the airport and Palermo town. Date: 23 May 1992

Falcone's remains secretly moved to Palermo's Pantheon

June 3, 2015

Tags: Giovanni Falcone, law, anti-mafia, judge, killed, assassinated, coffin, mve, cemetery, San Domenico

The remains of anti-mafia Judge Giovanni Falcone, killed by the mafia and the state 23 years ago, were moved in a secret ceremony from the family mausoleum in the Sant' Orsola Cemetery to a place of honor among Sicily's finest historical figures in the Church of San Domenico, Palermo's Pantheon, in Via Roma near the heart of the old city.

Quick Links