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

2800 immigrants rescued at sea and brought to Sicily

March 30, 2016

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

2800 people were plucked from the sea and brought to safety in Sicily in six different rescue operations in the last three days. Most were from sub-Saharan African nations.

Revolt in overcrowded immigrant center; more coming

March 28, 2016

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

Inhumane conditions caused inmates to protest at an immigration holding center in Palermo this morning where 250 people are being held in a center designed to hold no more than 180 people, according to a report in La Repubblica. More immigrants are on the way. By tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. the Norwegian ship "Siem Pilot" (more…)

Buona pasqua

March 27, 2016

Easter in Sicily
One of the best times of the year to be in Sicily.

I hope they threw him a party

March 25, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy, suit jacket, bow tie, child, voyage, party, delusion

This little boy from the Democratic Republic of the Congo made the entire sea crossing from Libya to Sicily dressed in a suit jacket and bow tie. His mother had told him that it would be the most important voyage of his life and that he was going to a country where the people (more…)

Palermo's traffic worst in Italy

March 22, 2016

Tags: palermo, traffic, sicily, italy, worst, record, snarls, commuters, wait, stuc, pollution, south, cars, waste, time, stink, exhaust, fumes, anger, beep, horn

In a year every Palermo commuter spends 147 hours blocked in traffic, according to the TomTom Traffic Index and La Repubblica, which measures traffic flow in 295 cities in 38 countries for all of 2015. Palermo, where buses get stuck behind carriage horses, had the worst traffic snarls in Italy. Second worst traffic city in Italy is Rome. (more…)

470 new immigrants, one dead of suffocation on overcrowded raft

March 21, 2016

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

Yesterday brought 470 new immigrants to the Sicilian coast town of Pozzallo, from four different rescue operations in the Mediterranean. One trafficker was arrested not only for promoting clandestine entry into Europe but also for the death of one immigrant who died suffocated under the weight of too many people in one rubber raft. Can you imagine? (more…)

Car sex in Addaura a big problem

March 18, 2016

Tags: car, sex, wife swappers, erotic, couples, singles, threesomes, addaura, palermo, complaints, car park

New trend! Local residents at Addaura on the rocky coast between downtown Palermo and Mondello complain about the phenomenon of sex partner swappers and flashers parking on private property along the coast around 11 p.m. and exchanging sex all night. The campers arrive first followed closely by cars full of singles. The couples knock on the windows of the singles, (more…)

270 new arrivals from africa

March 17, 2016

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

Last night the Italian Coast Guard saved 270 immigrants found in dire straits at sea, including about 50 women and children, according to La Repubblica Palermo online. All the immigrants were all right despite being exhausted by their difficulties and the cold.. They all came from the sub-Saharan countries of Mali, Cameroon, Nigeria, Congo, Guinea and (more…)

Blitz mafia bust; 64 arrested

March 16, 2016

Tags: police, blitz, mafia bust, cosa nostra, reorganization

Police overnight made 64 arrests from Villagrazia, the easternmost neighborhood of Palermo to S. Giuseppe Jato, a mafia stronghold in the hills behind Palermo. Turns out the mafia has been reorganizing under the guidance of two elders, one in his seventies, one in his eighties. These are old-style mafiosi who were henchmen of Toto Riina, the now jailed mafia kingpin known as The Beast.

Brava, Palermo!

March 12, 2016

Tags: proud, welcome, laura boldrini, leoluca orlando, sindaco, immigrati, diversita`, richezza, accoglienza.

Today Palermo Mayor Leoluca welcomed the president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, to his city.
"Welcome to Palermo, ...city of refuge, where diversity is a resource," were his words to her. Boldrini is an Italian journalist and politician who has been President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy since 16 March 2013. (more…)

The Quattro Canti

March 10, 2016

Tags: Words or phrases to categorize this post for the tags section

I Quattro Canti -- the four corners at the center of the old city.
At the intersection of Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda in the heart of the old town, the Quattro Canti is also known as the theater of the sun. I do not know who took this fine picture, but whoever it was lay down in the center of a busy intersection on a cloudless day and shot upward toward the cerulean blue sky.

Rais Gioacchino Cataldo guest appearance on cooking show

March 7, 2016

Tags: rais, Gioacchino Cataldo, favignana, rais, tonnara, tuna, sperm, delicacy, cooking, cuisine, sicilian, sicily, culture, ancient, fisherman

Thanks to a heads-up from fellow Sicily lover Karen LaRosa of LaRosaWorks.com:

Gioacchino Cataldo, Rais della tonnara di #Favignana

Gioacchino Cataldo, Rais della tonnara di #Favignanaporta la tradizione dei prodotti di tonnara a MasterChef Italia 5#egadi #isoleegadi #egadiislands #visitegadiGioacchino Cataldo l'ultimo Rais

Posted by Visit Egadi on Friday, February 19, 2016

The immigrants' palace

March 7, 2016

Tags: immigrant, housing, palermo, sicily, poverty, crumbling, 78 Piazza Tedeschi

78 Piazza Tedeschi
And these are not squatters. There are people who pay dearly to live in a place like this. I know this little piazzetta well because I saw it every day when I visited the Le Balate Library for Children and Babies just a block away.

The Chinese Palace

March 6, 2016

Tags: palazzina cinese, chinese palace, favorita, splendor, palermo, sicily

Interior hall in three-story Palazzina Cinese in La Favorita Park
Construction on King Ferdinand IV's Palazzina Cinese in La Favorita Park began in 1799. Chinoiserie was all the rage then, and this was the second Chinese-type house Ferdinand owned and was designed by the same architect.

Liberty Demetra Mosaic restored

March 3, 2016

Tags: Dmeter, demetra palermo, art liberty, goddess, grain, fertility, agriculture, mosaic, restore, capo, market, pupa old glory, beauty, sicily, panificio S Morello

The Liberty style mosaic of Demeter, Sicilian goddess of grain and agriculture known as the Doll of the Capo because she adorned the front of a bakery in the Capo market has been restored. She and the bakery sign were removed from the decrepit building (the bakery had gone out of business after many (more…)

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