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

Rai 1 channel special on Palermo

January 7, 2017

Tags: palermo, monuments, beauty, history, culture, architecture, art, historic center, video, rai 1

A beautiful video on the core beauties of Palermo. First broadcast 31 December 2016, You can enjoy the images even if you do not understand Italian. Click on the caption to see the show.

Ballaro` market calls

February 20, 2016

Tags: palermo, ballaro, market, Poressore, Carlo Di Franco, architecture, anthropology, La Palermo Dei Misteri, group, non-profit, walking, tours, stones, speak, ALbergheria, streets, walk, follow, troupe, market calls


Anthropology professor Carlo Di Franco leads me through the Ballaro` street market, his favorite place -- on our way to the church of Il Carmine in the Albergheria quarter of Palermo. Professor Di Franco, who teaches a class in symbols in architecture (more…)

New Year's Day, Palermo 1934

January 2, 2016

Tags: palermo, 1934, film, black and white, sicily, architecture, Liberty, Villa Delliella, cathedral, teatro massimo, politeama, gardens, citizens, New Year 1934

Here's a short, silent home movie of Palermo in the thirties. It shows the Liberty gem Villa Deliella, (02:27 behind palms) destroyed in a night in the 1950s by the mafia to make way for a high rise, now the site of a car wash. Its absence breaks the hearts of Palermitans.
(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.

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.

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…)

Destroyed Liberty masterpiece may be reproduced in situ

November 30, 2015

Tags: ernesto basile, architect, Liberty style, art nouveau, architecture, treasure, destroyed, mob, mafia, reconstruct, palermo, sicily, urban, recoup, culture

Two young Palermo architects have proposed recreating Ernesto Basile's Liberty masterpiece, Villa Deliella, according to the original blueprints which still exist, and to make a museum of it. The idea has the support of politician, art critic and entertainer Vittorio Sgarbi. The art nouveau masterpiece was destroyed over a weekend in 1959 during the Sack of Palermo by mob types who wanted to clear space for their concrete high-density retail/ apartment buildings. From Best of Sicily magazine: (more…)

Wish i could be there for this

November 8, 2015

Tags: palermo, UNESCO, World Heritage, itinerary, Cuba, cathedrals, monreale, palermo, cefalu, bridge, cloister, arab-norman, architecture, culture, art, recognition, appreciation, learn, education, culture, art, craft, workshops

In July Palermo was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Arab-Norman architecture, including the cathedrals of Palermo, Monreale and Cefalu` and the Cappella Palatina, all aglitter with golden mosaic tiles. Not gilt mosaic tiles, but solid gold tiles. To make the most of this prestigious world-wide recognition, the city has put together (more…)

La Zisa

January 20, 2015

Tags: La Zisa, palermo, norman arab, architecture, pool, reflection, sicily, sicilia, beauty, twelfth century, water, M. D'Ippolito

La Zisa reflection pools. Photo: M. D'Ippolito
Palermo is famous for its Norman-Arab architecture. Here is the 12th-century pleasure palace La Zisa.

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