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

392nd Feast of Santa Rosalia, patron saint of Palermo

July 15, 2016

Tags: santa rosalia, patron saint, palermo, festino, feast day

Once a year she rolls from the cathedral down Corso Vittorio Emanuele to the sea with a stop at the baroque Quattro Canti. 250,000 people were in attendance this year.

Feast of S. Rosalia started today

July 14, 2015

Tags: festino, palermo, sicily, santa rosalia, feast, annual, religious, procession

Crowds outside the Palermo cathedral
The 391st edition of the five-day Feast of Santa Rosalia started today outside the cathedral where her bones are kept in a giant silver urn. The theme of this year's "festino" is Misericordia, which translates as mercy or benevolence.

Santa Rosalia arrives by sea like the immigrants

July 13, 2015

Tags: mercy, benevolence, immigration, mayor, Leoluca Orlando, Palermo, sicily, example, good behavior, Festino, santa rosalia, patron, immigration

Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando arrived with a statue of Santa Rosalia, the city's patroness, in Mondello, saying the symbolic act reminds everyone that many, many immigrants arrive by sea too, and that they deserve to be welcomed and loved. The theme of this year's five-day feast, which begins Tuesday, is La Misericordia. It means (more…)

Ex votos

April 1, 2015

Tags: ex voto, palermo, sicily, silver, santa rosalia, grotto, monte san pellegrini, shrine, religious, tradition

It is a tradition all over southern Italy to promise a thing of value to a saint in exchange for a "grazia ricevuta", a favor received, often a cure. Those who could afford it often bought silver miniature bas relief replicas of the body part which received the grace. They pin them to the (more…)

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