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

R.I.P. Vincenzo Sercia, Favignana tonnaroto

January 12, 2017

Tags: favignana, tonnara, sicily, fisherman, tonnaroto, prima voce, soloist, ciurma, singer, tradition, passing, losing, disappearing, gone

Last night I learned that Vincenzo Sercia had died. I wrote about him in Mattanza. He was the former Prima Voce, the soloist, of the ciurma, the team of 100, then 80, tuna fisherman working under their supreme commander, the rais. He was already retired when I knew him in the early 1990s. I would follow him with a tape recorder begging him to sing the words of the cialome, the traditional, mystical work songs of the Favignana tonnara, but he always slipped through my fingers. These were not songs to be sung on land. It was taboo.
But one spring day in 1993, when documentary filmmaker Luciano Bovina was gathering material for a film about the tonnara, I learned that Vincenzo Sercia and a portion of the current ciurma would sing the cialome near Punta Lunga, in a rocky seaside cove for Luciano's benefit. I was invited, too, and in the pink dusk I recorded Vincenzo Sercia singing the songs. The most haunting is Ai-a-mola.

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

fisherman confesses to fishing up WW2 bombs for explosives that killed Falcone

September 28, 2015

Tags: strage, assasination, Capaci, Cosimo D'Amato, fisherman, Giovanni Falcone, Francesca Morvillo

A fisherman already condemned to 30 years in jail for his part in the murder of Giovanni Falcone, wife and body guards, has confessed in court to being the one who procured the explosives for the job from unexploded World War Two bombs he fished up from the bottom of the sea.
Cosimo D'Amato helped (more…)

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