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

A deal for il Festino: Santa Rosalia's Feast from On High

July 8, 2017

Tags: festino, palermo, palazzo asmundo, feat, santa rosalia, patron, saint, procession, festivities, terra da mare, tourism, culture, aperitif, cena, supper, entertainment, procession, religious, food, wine, drink, revel, spectacle, important


Where: Palazzo Asmundo, Via Pietro Novelli, 3 (corner of Corso Vittorio Emanuele), Palermo
When: Friday 14 July 2017 starting at 7 p.m.
Cost: 50 euro
Info in Italy: 329-876-5958 or 320- 767-2134
Reservations required via internet form

evento facebook: www.facebook.com/events/135957133635845

Anyone who will be in Palermo on this date should reserve their spot right now! If I were there, I would
For the 393rd five-day Feast of Santa Rosalia, the city's protectress, Palazzo Asmundo, a palace-museum directly across Via Vittorio Emanuele from the Norman Cathedral, will organize a palermitano supper and drinks with a magnificent overhead view of the incomparable spectacle on the Cathedral grounds.
Click on the caption to reserve a spot and to see photos of the palace interior, the buffet table laden with Sicilian specialties, and the privileged view from Palazzo Asmundo's balconies. Welcoming guests will be the members of the Terradamare ( land from Sea) cooperative, a grass-roots non profit that seeks to show cruise passengers the treasures of inner Palermo. (more…)

Palermo unanimously voted Italian Culture Capital for 2018

January 31, 2017

Tags: palermo, culture, capital, italy, 2018, sicily, italy

Palermo will be Italy's culture capital for the year 2018.

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.

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

Street food vendor Rocky

September 23, 2016

Tags: palermo, street food, sicily, culture, rocky

Rocky set up on my street corner in the Via Vittorio Emanuele every night and sold pane ca meuzza, in Sicilian, pane con la milza in Italian, or spleen and cheese sandwich in English, a typically Palermitan street food item.

Street food

August 14, 2016

Tags: palermo, street food, sicily, culture



Catania and Palermo

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

Sicily: Culture and Conquest to be at British Museum

January 29, 2016

Tags: sicily, culture, conquest, artifacts, British Museum, show, museum, history, story

From The Guardian:
"In 1066 the Normans were not just conquering grey, cold England. They were also in sunny, fertile Sicily creating what became one of the most enlightened cultures in Europe.
The little known story of the other Norman conquest is to be told in an exhibition exploring 4,000 years of history on the island (more…)

Monreale cathedral mosaics by drone

December 27, 2015

Tags: monreale, cathedral, mosaics, drone, palermo, culture, art, byzantine, religion, technology



I hope the full, longer version has many more close-ups than this 1.5-minute clip does.

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…)

Free Jazz at Palazzo Mirto

December 9, 2015

Tags: palermo, sicily, urban, culture, music, jazz, concert, free, mirto, palazzo mirto, piazza marina, opportunity, thrinax quartet, louis prima

If you were living in Palermo, this evening you could attend a free jazz concert given in this room at the mansion/museum of Palazzo Mirto just off Piazza Marina in the historic center of Palermo.
The Thrinax Quartet will play the canopied, tapestried, frescoed and chandeliered baldacchino room at the Mirto Palace at five this afternoon. The concert is dedicated to Louis Prima. Admission is free.

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…)

metal detectors against terrorism in Palermo

November 22, 2015

Tags: terrorism, fright, fear, culture, death, monuments, stadiums, theaters, people, metal dtectors, cost, expensive, bankrupt, culture, dead, fun, all gone

As of this moment in Palermo you cannot go to the theater, a concert, visit a monument or cathedral or soccer stadium without first being checked by a policeman with a metal detector who asks you to open your purse or bag besides. An expensive endeavor! Who should pay for the added security? Palermo (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…)

Palermo has the largest Ficus macrophylla on the continent

October 22, 2015

Tags: Ficus macrophylla, palermo Villa Garibaldi, largest, Europe. record-holder, aerial roots, Orto Botanico, Botanic Garden, palermo, sicily, italy, europe, garden, tree, giant, loved, culture, history

Here it is: Ficus macrophylla at Garibaldi Park at Piazza Marina, near the sea
Its siblings in the Orto Botanico (Botanic Garden) are rivals for the title of largest Ficus macrophylla in Europe. I love their aerial roots, majestic girth and shade.

Beloved Liberty demeter to be restored

May 21, 2015

Tags: Demeter, bread, grain, mosaic, Liberty, art nouveau, Capo, palermo, sicily, italy, restoration, remove, donations, culture, popular

The oldest business sign in Palermo, a Liberty ( Art Nouveau) mosaic of the goddess Demeter, goddess of grain, which advertised the only recently defunct Panificio Morello, a bakery in the Capo street market, is beng removed from its site on the front of a derepit building and being taken to the Palazzo Aiutamicristo for (more…)

Calendar rock at S. Ciparello, Palermo Province

April 8, 2015

Tags: palermo, prehistoric, megalithic, archeology geoarcheologist, San Ciparello, MOnte aricvocaloto, astronomical calendar, rock, civilization, religion, farming, agriculture, culture

Archeologist Alberto Scuderi, geoarcheologist Francesca Mercadante and her husband and co-explorer Dr. Pippo Lo Cascio have discovered that a seven-foot high rock with a hole carved out of it on a hilltop in Palermo province was actually a second-millenium B.C. megalithic structure that celebrates the winter solstice. On December 22 the first rays of (more…)

LaRosa Works offers tours to Sicily, more

February 27, 2015

Tags: Karen LaRosa, culture, tours, sicily, passion, energy, villas, bikes, wines, food, olives, travel, New York, events, planning, booster

Karen LaRosa is Sicily's biggest booster, and she takes some excellent photos of the island. Share her enthusiasm at her site: http://larosaworks.com/

Demeter art deco mosaic in the Capo Market years ago

February 26, 2015

Tags: capo, palermo, mosaico, demetra, panificio, morello, patrimonio, artistico, culturale, cultura, culture

Here is a shot of the art deco mosaic of Demeter, the goddess of grain, outside a bread bakery in the Capo market of Palermo. The mosaic is still there. The bakery recently closed. People are forming Facebook groups to save the mosaic, have it put in a museum.

The Cuticchio family

October 17, 2014

Tags: cuticchio, puppet, sicilian, palermo, sicilia, sicily, italia, italy, culture, family, figli d'arte

A multi-headed monster puppet representing the Cuticchio family of puppeteers
In the hundreds of episodes that make up one drama from the repertoire of the Siciilan puppet theater, there is one many-headed monster which appears only once onstage. This lifelike sculpture is a spoof on that monster, representing instead the now-deceased head of the Cuticchio family and his children, puppeteers all, growing from his head.

culture clash

June 2, 2014

Tags: palermo, capo, market, street immigrant, woman, girl, color, dresses, traditional garb, sicily, sicilia, cultural, melting pot, culture, tradition, modern, traditional, clash

Immigrant woman and child in the Capo market street
The most colorful clothing can always be found in Il Capo market, whether on display or worn by the denizens.

Pietra Tara, a megalithic Bronze-Age village in Sferracavallo

May 4, 2014

Tags: vermont, palermo, pietra tara, Bronze Age, village, megalithic, culture, city limits


I am back in Vermont but I still have plenty to show and tell from my most recent three-month sojourn in Palermo. (more…)

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