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

Sicilians Do It Better: Dolce & Gabbana Present Their Alta Moda in Palermo

July 12, 2017

Tags: palermo, dolce, gabbana, moda, fashion, models, fountain, runway, city, sicily, italy

From Vogue magazine:
The arrival of a sleekly suited and enigmatic-looking man flanked by three watchful, headset-wearing bodyguards whose hands hovered above the meaningful bulges beneath their jackets did not, at first, seem that remarkable.

After all, around 430 clients, many of them new, travelled from across the world to the Sicilian capital of Palermo to experience the 126-look swoon that was Dolce & Gabbana’s latest Alta Moda show last night. And at Alta Moda, personal security detachments are ten a penny: The wealth that enables these super shoppers to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, and sometimes considerably more, buying into this couture-but-beyond iteration of idealized Italian-ness comes with its own burdens.

Yet this new face was a man without a woman at a womenswear show who spent a great deal of time shaking hands with people he didn’t know. It seemed strange. When he shook my hand all became clear: This was no less that Rosario Crocetta, the President of Sicily, a son-of-a-seamstress communist anti-corruption campaigner who has been the target of at least three Mafia assassination plots. Wow. So why was he here? The president said: “As far as I am concerned Dolce and Gabbana are the best interpreters in Sicilian style. It is in their blood, and they do a lot for Sicily.”

Here is their high-fashion jewelry show at Palazzo Gangi, Palermo.

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Man creates map of Palermo's 3,000+ monuments

January 24, 2017

Tags: map, monuments, palermo, sicily, city, historic, important

An unknown person, presumably of Palermo, single-handedly created this detailed map of Palermo's 3,000+ monuments.

Enjoy some peace in Mistretta, Nebrodi Mountains

December 31, 2016

Tags: mistretta, decorative, stone, sculpture, sicily, art, culture, city, town



2017: "Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst" -- Mel Brooks

Islamic feast of the sacrifice celebrated outdoors in Palermo

September 13, 2016

Tags: multiculturism, islam, foro italico, palermo, sicily, religion, tolerance, acceptance, cosmopolitan, city, no fear, many colors.

A thousand faithful and Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando celebrate the Islamic Feast of the Sacrifice held seaside in the Foro Italico.

More hexagons

January 24, 2016

Tags: Via Cartari, Kalsa, Palero, Sicily, paving, stones, hexagonal, hexagon, nice touch, antiquity, beauty, old, city, urban

Via Cartari in the Kalsa, just a block east of the boulevard Via Vittorio Emanuele, is honeycombed with six-sided paving stones.
Via Cartari is one of the few historic streets to retain its hexagonal paving stone. I lived just a block from this little street and saw it every time I walked to the Antica Focacceria San Francesco. This was the paper makers' street. A great neighborhood. Gotta tell you that the photographer had smelly (more…)

Cityscape: Piazzetta degli Angelini

January 6, 2016

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


The paving stones are honeycomb-shaped! Author Giuseppe Di Lampedusa's family home gave onto this piazzetta. It was destroyed by an American bomb during WWII, rebuilt and now, just recently, turned into apartments. There used to be a water tower and fountain here that brought icy cold water from the mountains, and thirsty aristocrats would (more…)

Happy New Year

December 31, 2015

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

A look at the best of Palermo.

rainy day today in Palermo

November 29, 2015

Tags: bike, rain, palermo, lights, city, street, cobbles, maqueda

It's been raining in Palermo. Pilons that hold up bridges have moved out of place on the Palermo-Sciacca highway, a boulder rolled off a mountain and killed an 88-year-old woman asleep in her bed in Mondello ( maybe the house was built illegally close to the mountain) and Corso Vittorio Emanuele stones shone under this bike.

La Favorita Park from on high

November 17, 2015

Tags: parco della favorita, parl, green like vermont, palermo, urban park, greenery, lungs, recreation, nature, city, together, protect, please, historical, palazzina cinese.

Parco della Favorita, on the north end of downtown Palermo, by Siculdrone. Splendid.

Tower of S. Nicolo`, Bagheria

September 8, 2015

Tags: toree s. Nicolo`, bagheria, view, night, open, september, beauty, city, palermo, sicily, sicilia

View from the Tower of S. Nicolo`, Albergheria, Palermo
On 12 September, the Tower of the Church of San Nicolo` in the heart of Albergheria in Old Palermo will be open until midnight for half-hour tours. The view is so beautiful. Palermo at night can't be beat.

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…)

Columns in the archives.

January 15, 2015

Tags: palermo, archivio, archive, sicilia, sicily, italy, city, capital, region

Here is another view of the Palermo city archives.
Today a thumb drive could contain it all.

Inside the Palermo city archive

January 13, 2015

Tags: palermo, archivio, archive, sicilia, sicily, italy, city, capital, region

It's Dizzying.
The Palermo city archives off Via Maqueda is an experience in itself. It was designed like the inside of a cargo ship. It was recently spruced up and the staff offer guided tours of the collections. Thanks to Facebook group Palermo in Bianco e Nero for this photo. This shot is taken from the (more…)

Upgrade in Piazza Cassarelli

January 9, 2015

Tags: palermo, sicilia, sicily, Italy, Piazza Cassarelli, renovations, upgrade, city, back streets

From one of my favorite blogs, Amo Palermo. The author walks around the city center with a camera and snaps pictures of buildings and streets undergoing improvements. It's a blog with a lot of positive energy. The author now has a regular column in the newspaper Il Corriere .

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