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

Happy New Year

December 31, 2015

Tags: palermo, sicily, slideshow, monuments, beautiful, city, urban, europe, historic center

A look at the best of Palermo.

How's that bike sharing going?

December 30, 2015

Tags: bicycles, bike sharing, thieves, palermo, cops. sicily

Four of the city's new bicycles in the bike-share program inaugurated mid-December had been stolen and found by Palermo police.

Archbishop Lorefice took in four Nigerian immigrants

December 30, 2015

Tags: immigration, Corrado Lorefice, adopt, refugees, family, children, live, palace, archbishop, mercy, kindness, Palermo, sicily, sicilia, rescue, life, shelter, home

Palermo's brand new Archbishop Corrado Lorefice has installed four Nigerian refugees in the bishop's residence, the diocese's incredible palace across from the cathedral on Via Vittorio Emanuele: a young Nigerian woman, and a Nigerian mother of two small children.
He encouraged others to do the same, especially in this Year of Mercy as prescribed (more…)

The Florios' Liberty mansion masterpiece open to public

December 28, 2015

Tags: Palermo, Liberty, architecture, villino, florio, beauty, example, sicily, region, showplace

The Villino Florio all'Olivuzza in high Liberty style will be open to the public for at least a short while beginning December 29, according to the Amo Palermo blog. It once belonged to Palermo's most influential millionaires, the Florios. Click on the caption to see interior and exterior photos of the villa. It is adream. I have yet to see this in person. Viale Regina Margherita, 38, near La Zisa.

Monreale cathedral mosaics by drone

December 27, 2015

Tags: monreale, cathedral, mosaics, drone, palermo, culture, art, byzantine, religion, technology



I hope the full, longer version has many more close-ups than this 1.5-minute clip does.

New bishop celebrates Christmas with homeless

December 25, 2015

Tags: Fra Biagio Conte, Palermo, sicily, homeless, Mission of Hope and Charity, Missione delle Speranza e della Carita, church, Christmas, citadel, poor, citadella, poveri, clochard, care, love, hope, charity

"This is the real church," Palermo's brand new archbishop Corrado Lorefice said to those gathered to celebrate Christmas Eve at Fra Biagio Conte's Mission of Hope and Charity. Biagio, a lay brother who takes care of a thousand homeless people in three inner city homes for them in Palermo, welcomed the new archbishop to his shelter.

500+ immigrants debark at Augusta, Sicily Xmas Eve

December 24, 2015

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

More than 500 immigrants rescued by two military ships and Doctors Without Borders were brought safely to land in Augusta, Sicily this day. La Repubblica's story about them did not mention where they were from because it just happened. I doubt you will read about this in the U.S. papers but 500-plus lives matter.

Barber cuts homeless men's hair gratis after work

December 24, 2015

Tags: kindness, La Danza delle Ombre, palermo, sicily, homeless, men, women senza tetto, Dr. Marina Scardavi

Vi ho visto sul giornale La Repubblica negli states! Auguri e buon natale a tutti gli amici di LDDO.

Posted by Reve Couleurs on Thursday, December 24, 2015
A barber in Palermo leaves work and goes to cut the hair of homeless men and women at a shelter near Palermo's port. I recognize some of the homeless men in this short video from La Repubblica. They are guests of the 40-bed dormitory run by La Danza delle Ombre (The Shadow Dance) a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Marina Scardavi, Palermo's street doctor to the homeless. From their Facebook page.

Refugee baby born on rescue ship now in Ragusa

December 23, 2015

Tags: refugee, baby, born, rescue ship, francesca, stephani, benin city, nigeria, sex-trade, human trafficking, unknowing, asylum, immigration, life, africa, europe, northward, poverty, economics, guardian, newspaper

The unspoken undercurrent in this article is that Stephanie may be the unwitting victim of a thriving human- traffic in sex slaves. Naive Nigerian girls, especially from Benin City, are often tricked into forfeiting their lives in the sex trade when they are offered work as hair dressers, grocery clerks in the new world then once in Europe are forced into a life of prostitution from which they are not freed until they pay upwards of $40,000 to their captors. I wonder if her captors will reclaim her as their merchandise once she leaves the Ragusa women's refuge. She still does not know she is in danger. Click on the caption to read the story in The Guardian.

Palermo cathedral this Christmas

December 21, 2015

Tags: palermo, cathedral, christmas, lights, beauty, architecture, Pietro Cancelliere, photographer

Away from the hustle and bustle of shopping, Pietro Cancelliere captured the Christmas beauty of the Cathedral at night.

Palermo before the war slideshow

December 20, 2015

Tags: slideshow, black and white, photos, palermo, sicily, Palermo in bianco e nero, facebook, new c'era una volta Palermo felicissima, Gianfry Fiero



A new slideshow of old Palermo found on the Facebook group Palermo in Bianco e Nero by Ganfry Fiero.

Look inside the Massimo theater

December 18, 2015

Tags: massimo, theater, lyric, opera, restoration, Mayor, Leoluca Orlando

Interior of the restored Massimo opera house in Palermo
This Belle Epoque masterpiece was closed for restorations, they said, for more than 20 years. Nothing happened, mobsters played cards in its basement rooms, until Leoluca Orlando, brave anti-mafia mayor, took office. Now it is the pride of the city. For eight euros you can tour the opera house, built on the site of a (more…)

Politeama sepia post card

December 17, 2015

Tags: Teatro, politeama, palermo, sicily, sicilia, architecture, innovation, culture, capital, horseshoe

From the Facebook group "Palermo in Bianco e Nero" (Palermo in black and white), a group pf passionate Palermo lovers, many of whom are amateur historians of the city, great connoisseurs of the city. I will translate the first few comments here:

When the palms were still little!
Splendid.
When the theater was brand new!
When Palermitans loved and respected Palermo. (more…)

New: Bike-sharing in Palermo

December 14, 2015

Tags: palermo, bike, bicycle, bike, sharing, mobility, modern, sicily, environment, sustainable, alternative, transportation

Let's see how this goes in Palermo. If people respect the bikes, don't steal them, don't trash them out of pure joy in vandalism. The capital city's brand new bike -sharing system is all set up and ready to go tomorrow.
The service provides 400 bikes, plus 20 more electric-motor-assisted bikes, at 37 bike stations. The electric bikes will be charged by solar panels installed in the bike stations.

11,360 unaccompanied minor immigrant children arrived in Sicily this year

December 13, 2015

Tags: ghana, palermo, sicily, immigrant, unaccompanied minor, boy alone, alone, boy, travel, ghana, CIE, odyssey

From the Guardian:
From 1 January to 6 December this year, 11,360 unaccompanied children like Jamieson – mainly from Eritrea, Nigeria, Gambia, Somalia and Senegal – arrived on its shores.

‘I did not ever think I would reach here,” says 17-year-old Jamieson, staring down at his dusty blue Crocs, given to him when he disembarked from the rescue boat in Sicily, in August. “I look back and I could have died many times. But I try to stop thinking of it. (more…)

Brussels to usurp border lines between Schengen countries in emergencies

December 13, 2015

Tags: immigration, europe, borders, schengen, asylum, guards, fence, repatriation

Brussels is to unveil radical plans to strip national governments of authority over their borders in an emergency and to create a border guards force to police the EU’s frontiers, supervise asylum claims, and detain and deport failed asylum seekers.

The controversial response to the immigration crisis is to be launched on Tuesday (more…)

Mattarella today unveils copy of Caravaggio's Nativity, stolen in 1969

December 12, 2015

Tags: caravaggio, stolen, Oratorio, san lorenzo, palermo, sicily, art theft, heist, replacement, copy, Presdent Matarella, mafia, 1969

The theft of Caravaggio’s Nativity with St Francis and St Lawrence from an oratory in Palermo in 1969 is still considered one of the worst art crimes in history.
The 17th-century masterpiece – a depiction of the newborn Christ on a bed of straw, painted in the chiaroscuro technique – was thought to have been painted by Caravaggio in Rome and later moved to Sicily, where it hung for centuries before being cut from its frame by two thieves in the night, never to be seen again.

6 major mafia arrests this morning

December 11, 2015

Tags: mafia, vote, boss, crime, arrest, police, murder, kiss, forehead, election, Santa Maria del Gesu`

Chilling headlines in La Repubblica today.
Through spy cameras and microphones hidden all over the city, Sicilian police learned that the oldest mafia clan in Palermo, of Santa Maria del Gesu` on the city's east side, had just elected a new boss. The brief, intense election season was a sign to police that the (more…)

Free Jazz at Palazzo Mirto

December 9, 2015

Tags: palermo, sicily, urban, culture, music, jazz, concert, free, mirto, palazzo mirto, piazza marina, opportunity, thrinax quartet, louis prima

If you were living in Palermo, this evening you could attend a free jazz concert given in this room at the mansion/museum of Palazzo Mirto just off Piazza Marina in the historic center of Palermo.
The Thrinax Quartet will play the canopied, tapestried, frescoed and chandeliered baldacchino room at the Mirto Palace at five this afternoon. The concert is dedicated to Louis Prima. Admission is free.

Tower of S. Nicolo` open at night

December 5, 2015

Tags: tower, lookout, panorama, view, vista, night, open, admission, ballaro`, albergheria, beauty, lights

The tower of the Church of San Nicolo` in Ballaro` will once again be open to the public at night for a 5-euro admission fee.

Lampedusa's Palermo home renovated, now apartments

December 3, 2015

Tags: lampedusa, house, home, apartment, palermo, sicily, author, landmark, renovation, nice!

Italy's greatest 20th-century writer Giuseppe Lampedusa's house in Palermo is once again a home, for six families. It has been made into apartments. Here is a video report from La Repubblica:

Video montage of towns around S. Margherita di Belice

December 3, 2015

Tags: Santa margherita belice, caltabellotta, salaparuta, poggioreale, sciacca, vita, tourism

A group of towns around Santa Margherita Belice have banded together to self-promote the cultural treasures and natural and agrarian beauties of their towns to tourists. They have produced a three-minute video that is fun to watch:

Bakery gives out free food to the needy

December 1, 2015

Tags: bakery, bread, free, palermo, needy, help, donation, food, sicily, kind, kindness, goodness, real christians

The La Spiga d'Oro bakery in Palermo says the following on its Facebook page today:
To you who are having a hard time....
To you who have a family to feed....
To you who can't stretch the budget to the end of the month...
Don't grovel!
Evenings from 8 p.m. to to 9p.m. stopby and we'll make available everything we did not sell in the line of bread, pizzas, savory buns, foccacce and more...
Our small gesture is just a little help for your life!!!!
The Spiga d'Oro Bread Bakery.
(It's name means "Golden Grain" Bakery.)
Bravi.

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