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

Mass quantities of confiscated Mafia loot

November 23, 2015

Tags: confiscated, loot, mafia, law, judges, sicily, italy

3,000 companies, 12,000 properties and 2bn in bank deposits. Read all about it here in the Guardian in English. Now I have a better idea of the temptations that tantalized Judge Saguto, stripped of her duties and salary as Palermo's head minder of confiscated Mafia property. Click on the caption to read the Guardian's story.

Nudism is back at Pantelleria

September 17, 2015

Tags: nudism, mayor, pantelleria, revoke, law, breasts

Pantelleria's mayor revoked a law created 33 years ago by a more prudish mayor to keep nudity and topless women off their beaches. "The island belongs to the world and accepts everybody," said current Mayor Gino Gabriele, according to a report in today's La Repubblica. (The law was never respected anyway.) But it was interesting to read what the former Mayor Giovanni Petrillo wrote into the law on 17 July 1982. He railed against women who expose breasts that "are instead stomach-turning flaccid, oblong protuberances."
In the order he wrote that "someone had to step in to avoid a situation where certain persons, deprived of any sense of shame, but undoubtedly gifted with a worm-eaten mind, continue to walk all over the feeling of discretion which still enlivens most clean-minded people."
That same prudish mayor was arrested in 1982 for abuse of office (graft) and was later absolved, only to be arrested again in 1991, again as mayor, for extortion.

Three thousand immigrants on 22 vessels headed toward Sicily

August 22, 2015

Tags: immigration, human trafficking, shipwreck, mediterranean, africa, sicily, siclia, Libya, libia, bottom of the sea, marine graveyard, Frontex, Bossi, Lega Nord, racists, murderers, law

Front page news in today's La Repubblica Palermo on line edition:
Latest wave of immigrants. Between two and three thousand immigrants in rubber rafts and old boats asked for rescue from Italian and European agencies spread out across the Strait of Sicily. More than 20 requests came into the Italian coast guard which coordinates the (more…)

13 cadavers on immigrant vessel

July 28, 2015

Tags: immigration, human trafficking, shipwreck, mediterranean, africa, sicily, siclia, Libya, libia, bottom of the sea, marine graveyard, Frontex, Bossi, Lega Nord, racists, murderers, law

There 13 dead bodies aboard an overloaded boat full of immigrants aided yesterday in the Strait of Sicily by the Irish military boat "L. E. Niamh.". On the refugee boat were 522 people, and the corpses lay among them. The causes of the deaths of the 13 were not clear. Besides this operation, yesterday saw another four (more…)

717 immigrants made it to shore

July 11, 2015

Tags: immigration, human trafficking, shipwreck, mediterranean, africa, sicily, siclia, Libya, libia, bottom of the sea, marine graveyard, Frontex, Bossi, Lega Nord, racists, murderers, law

The Italian Coast Guard ship Dattilo moored at the port of Palermo and disembarked the 717 refugees saved from a Thursday shipwreck off the shores of Libya along with 12 cadavers. The Dattilo picked up the victims and the survivors along with the ship Corso and two motorboats that left from Lampedusa.

Falcone's remains secretly moved to Palermo's Pantheon

June 3, 2015

Tags: Giovanni Falcone, law, anti-mafia, judge, killed, assassinated, coffin, mve, cemetery, San Domenico

The remains of anti-mafia Judge Giovanni Falcone, killed by the mafia and the state 23 years ago, were moved in a secret ceremony from the family mausoleum in the Sant' Orsola Cemetery to a place of honor among Sicily's finest historical figures in the Church of San Domenico, Palermo's Pantheon, in Via Roma near the heart of the old city.

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