March 30, 2016
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.
March 28, 2016
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…)
March 27, 2016
Easter in Sicily
One of the best times of the year to be in Sicily.
March 25, 2016
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…)
March 22, 2016
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…)
March 21, 2016
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…)
March 18, 2016
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…)
March 17, 2016
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…)
March 16, 2016
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.
March 12, 2016
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…)
March 10, 2016
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.
March 7, 2016
Thanks to a heads-up from fellow Sicily lover Karen LaRosa of LaRosaWorks.com:
March 7, 2016
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.
March 6, 2016
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.
March 3, 2016
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…)