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

Knifemakers of Palermo

September 19, 2016

Tags: palermo, streets, knives, factory, traditional, craft, artisan, sharpeners, vucciria, markets, street, profession

University of Palermo anthropology professor Carlo Di Franco, who took the picture, writes on his personal Facebook page that Palermo's old knife makers appear in all the old markets of the city: the Vucciria, Ballaro`, and the Capo markets. He photographed Mr. Salvatore Cambria who for 60 years has operated out of his shop and workshop in Discesa Maccarrronai (Macaroni Makers Descent) in the Vucciria market.

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.

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…)

papier mache horse

March 5, 2014

Tags: cartapesta, cavallo, paier mache`, horse, rocking, I Morti, Day of the Dead, toy, children, traditional

Palermo children used to find these rocking horses in their shoes on Nov. 2, the Day of the Dead. They did not receive gifts on Christmas.
Papier mache miniature rocking horses were given to children on I Morti, the Day of the Dead. Artisans Nunzio Venuta and his wife, Marina Mancuso, still make these beautiful, traditional toys at their store cum workshop, Il Laboratorio in Via 4 Aprile just off Piazza Marina. Il Laboratorio first opened in 1991.

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