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

Il capo market in the morning

August 21, 2016

Tags: palermo, market, capo, street, produce, red, people, custom, tradition, fresh, local, food

Il Capo street market, Palermo, 11 a.m. Photo: Rosa Maria Zito
One of Palermo's historic street markets.

Fruit vendor at the Capo market

January 10, 2016

Tags: market, street, palermo, sicily, fruit, vendor, urban, food, fresh, colors, capo

I have bought some of the best strawberries of my life in this market. It is a wonder to walk through these market streets. You often see strange African fruits here too. Like squash with bumpy bristles. It is the best place to buy small souvenirs to take home to friends, like exotic spices and Sicilian capers.

Bakery gives out free food to the needy

December 1, 2015

Tags: bakery, bread, free, palermo, needy, help, donation, food, sicily, kind, kindness, goodness, real christians

The La Spiga d'Oro bakery in Palermo says the following on its Facebook page today:
To you who are having a hard time....
To you who have a family to feed....
To you who can't stretch the budget to the end of the month...
Don't grovel!
Evenings from 8 p.m. to to 9p.m. stopby and we'll make available everything we did not sell in the line of bread, pizzas, savory buns, foccacce and more...
Our small gesture is just a little help for your life!!!!
The Spiga d'Oro Bread Bakery.
(It's name means "Golden Grain" Bakery.)
Bravi.

Rick Steves at the Ballaro` suq in Palermo

October 15, 2015

Tags: ballaro`, palermo, suq, street market, travel, sicily, food, singing wares, vegetables, meat, fish

Rick Steves did a good job on this short clip of merchants singing their wares.

The poor give to the Poor. BRAVI!!

July 12, 2015

Tags: falsomiele, palermo, poor, immigrants, refugees, welcome, gifts, clothes, food, shelter, generous, big-hearted, imigration, Mediterranean Sea, morti, dead, drowned, shipwreck

In just under 24 hours, one of the poorest and toughest neighborhoods of Palermo mobilized to welcome and care for the 717 refugees, including survivors of shipwreck, who arrived in Palermo yesterday, according to La Repubblica. Volunteers from the Falsomiele neighborhood brought clothes, shoes and tee shirts to distribute to thewomen and children, people who arrived, (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/

Rough looking

June 5, 2014

Tags: capo, market, food, clothing, doors, oalermo, immigrants, neighborhood, quartiere, siclia, sicily, Italy, south, old, rough

These ancient wooden doors lead to a flat above the Capo market.
Many southern Asian immigrants live in this, the Capo market neighborhood. These rough wooden doors looked positively medieval. Often, univiting, creaking, forbidding, even, heavy wooden doors lead to enchanted colonnaded courtyards filled with sunlight and a fountain, such a surprise. In Palermo, you never know what is behind the next closed door.

Last Night in Palermo: Chicken on a Chain

April 30, 2014

Tags: arancina, palermo, bomba, fried, Danza delle Ombre, homeless, hot meal, food, delivery, rice balls, chicken on a chain

Chicken on a chain, photo by Irene Campagna
I went out on the Danza delle Ombre meals- on-wheels run for the homeless with Chiara and Irene Campagna this evening, for the last time.
You see the strangest things. Drunken Europunks sleeping on the cold hard sidewalk where they urinate, surrounded by a pack of large mongrel dogs, one of which just had seven puppies. Across the street was this forlorn, lonely roosting hen on a leash, tied to a garbage can, waiting for her homeless master to get back from whatever it was he was doing. Different kind of pet.
When we ran out of food to deliver, the sisters, who volunteer to deliver food every week, asked me what food I liked. Pizza, crostini, cannolicchi. Then they talked about their favorite arancine, which are fried rice balls containing, traditionally, either butter (more…)

Antica Focacceria San Francesco

March 28, 2014

Tags: food, traditional, sicilian, no pizzo, fabio, vincenzo, conticelli, cannoli, focaccie, caponata, pasta with fennel and sardines

Antica Focacceria San Francesco serves the best traditional Sicilian food at moderate prices.
I went to the focacceria today to ask fo an interview with Fabio Conticello, the brother of owner Vincenzo Conticello. Vincenzo, back in 2007, stood up in court and pointed the finger at the mafioso who came to the restaurant and demanded protection money. This was an unprecedented act of courage. Five Mafiosa went to (more…)

Bangla Sonar, Via Maqueda 258, Palermo, Italy

March 27, 2014

Tags: bangla sonar, indian, ethnic, fast food, palermo, via maqueda, tunisino, tunisian, bangladesh, food, muslim, moslem

Two guys from Tunisia and Bangladesh serve bi-national fast food.
The largest foreign population of Palermo are the people from Bangladesh. Every time I walk home from the Teatro Massimo neighborhood, down Via Maqueda to the corner of Via Napoli, I pass this one fast food place, Bangla Sonar, that emits the most delicious aromas of spices unknown to me. It's a clean, well-lit (more…)

Quick Links