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

Telegraph: Palatine Chapel among world's most beautiful churches

December 1, 2016

Tags: Church, Palermo, sicily, capella Palatina, telegraph, most beautiful

Palermo's 1132 Capella Palatina was the only Italian church to make it onto The Telegraph's list of the worlds 23 most beautiful churches.

A big flop: Black Friday sales in Palermo

November 26, 2016

Tags: Palermo, sales, black friday, bust, flop

No one showed up. They don't have Thanksgiving so there was no starting line impetus, IMHO. La Repubblica says the discounts were not low enough to bring in customers.

Cityscape: interior of a palace in Piazza Bologni

February 28, 2016

Tags: Piazza Bologni, Palermo, Palazzo Alliata, Leo Lima, Facebook, Palermo in Bianco e Nero

Photo of interior of Palazzo Alliata by Leo Lima posted in Facebook group "Palermo in Bianco e Nero."
Entering these sumptuous old palaces in downtown Palermo is always a revelation. This one is in Piazza Bologni on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Palermo's oldest street.

Cityscape

January 31, 2016

Tags: Palermo, Monte Pellegrino, vista, view, anorama, beauty, bellezza, sicily, capital, island, mediterranean

A beautiful view of Palermo
Palermo can take your breath away. Monte Pellegrino is in the background. This greensward is where the Luna Park amusement park was for many years.

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.

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.

Tree biographies

September 28, 2015

Tags: tree, biography, Via Liberta, Palermo, guerilla gardeners

After city authorities felled an historic tree in Piazza Castelnuovo on Via Liberta` to make way for a new subway line, these guerilla gardeners went into action. They researched and wrote up the life story of every tree on Via Liberta`, including its present state of health, and with a knotted string attached each (more…)

Into the Night

September 8, 2015

Tags: Giorgio Rowley, Palermo, Into the Night, video, time lapse, clouds, clock, cathedral, love, beauty

Again, because it is so beautiful, and maybe you missed it the first time.

San Lorenzo: Night of the Shooting Stars over Palermo

August 5, 2015

Tags: San Nicolo, centro storico, torre, Palermo, sicilia, sicily, night, shooting stars, San Lorenzo, vista, urban, sky, stars

Night of the Shooting stars from the bell tower of the Church of San Nicolo in Albergheria, Palermo
The non-profit association Terradamare offers a unique occasion to tourists and locals alike to climb the stairs to the terrace around the belltower of San Nicolo` di Bari in Albergheria to see the night sky over the historic center of Palermo and to launch a little lantern from on high. Tickets are three euro. (more…)

Santa Rosalia arrives by sea like the immigrants

July 13, 2015

Tags: mercy, benevolence, immigration, mayor, Leoluca Orlando, Palermo, sicily, example, good behavior, Festino, santa rosalia, patron, immigration

Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando arrived with a statue of Santa Rosalia, the city's patroness, in Mondello, saying the symbolic act reminds everyone that many, many immigrants arrive by sea too, and that they deserve to be welcomed and loved. The theme of this year's five-day feast, which begins Tuesday, is La Misericordia. It means (more…)

Mafia park goes to the dogs, and cats

May 16, 2015

Tags: kennel, rescue, Palermo, falsomile, dog, cat, clinic, mafia

Park land confiscated from the Mafia in Falsomiele outside Palermo will become the new home for hundreds of ownerless dogs and cats, according to a report in today's La Repubblica. The 27,000-square-meter park will include a place for the dogs to runa and play, a first-aid clinic and an operating room.

First generation Palermitans

May 9, 2015

Tags: children, immigrants, Palermo, Sicilia, Sicily, citizenship

Boys and girls, most of them born in Palermo, children of parents from far away who have rebuilt their lives in Palermo. Palermo always has been a melting pot of cultures and languages and skin colors. It still is.

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…)

Sicilian charm from the smallest store in Europe

January 16, 2015

Tags: U' Pirtusu, Palermo, Cristina Buccellato, corso vittorio emanuele, 329, Palermo, sicily, sicilia, jewelry, artisan, handmade, accessori, oggettistica artiginale

Cristina Buccellato, artisan in Europe's smallest store, U Pirtusu, which means "The Hole" in Palermo dialect. The store is just one meter wide! Here is one of her latest creations. The charm is the Trinacria, a symbol of Sicily, with a cutout of the island in the center, all cut and worked by hand.
Bellissima!


Spectacular

December 20, 2014

Tags: Palermo, Cassaro, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Porta Felice, Porta Nuova, centro storico, historic center

Palermo today. Photographer unknown at this time.
An incredibly beautiful view of old Palermo from the sea at the bottom of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the city's first street, whose oldest part, near the top a, near Porta Nuova, was built by the Phoenicians 2700 years ago. There is a homeless encampment just out of sight of this photo, to the bottom right,where Mohammed lives with his friends in campers and cars and tents along the shore.

Tomatoes

November 4, 2014

Tags: tomato, pomodoro, Ballaro`, market, Palermo, sicily, sicilia, italy, Italia

tomatoes
The tomatoes look just as good as the persimmons.

My favorite bookstore

August 18, 2014

Tags: Pietro Tramonte, books, Palermo, street, seller

Stacks in an alley near the post office.
So many stories in this little alley in a street parallel to Via Roma near the post office, and not all of them were in books. I got sucked into this vicolo by the books and I stayed for the bookseller, Pietro Tramonte. More on him tomorrow.

Feathery Chandelier

August 16, 2014

Tags: chandelier, Via Maqueda, palazzo, Palermo, sicilia, sicily, elegant, beautiful, milky, white, glass, Murano

Milky chandelier in a newly renovated palazzo in Via Maqueda, Palermo.
A chandelier hanging from what used to be a frescoed ceiling in a Via Maqueda palace.

Palermo pit bull

August 15, 2014

Tags: dog, pitbull, Palermo, Sicily, fights, Ballaro`

Pitbull, either victorious or untried, Albergheria, Palermo
I saw this beautiful dog most days chained up to this doorway, or heard him whine behind the shuttered saracensche of a storage shed in center city. His coat and confirmation were beautiful and unscarred, so he either he had never fought or he had always won.

Procession of the Dead Christ and Sorrowful Madonna

April 19, 2014

Tags: Christ, passion, madonna, sorrowful, dolorosa, dead, Good Friday, Palermo, chiesa S. Maria La Nuova, Piazza San Giacomo La Marina



The Sicilians have a disconcerting custom of clapping for people in coffins. People they like. (more…)

Pietro Tramonte's street bookstore

March 18, 2014

Tags: Pietro Tramonte, books, Palermo, street, seller

The books are in no particular order. Great for browsing. He also sells old postcards, magazines, and maps
Pietro Tramonte, whose family is from Gibellina, runs a bookstore in an alley in a street parallel to Via Roma. The books go from floor to ceiling and now spill out into the alley in these shelves he covers with tarps at night to protect from weather and thieves. He is also a poet. (more…)

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