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

Arabian horse beauty contest in La Favorita Park

April 3, 2016

Tags: palermo, la favorita, park, clean, horse, arabian, contest, equestrian, beauty, urban

Mayor Leoluca Orlando had closed the La Favorita park to traffic for a few weeks of intensive cleaning before Easter. When the normally messy and littering Palermo public left it absolutely clean after Easter Monday's traditional Pasquetta picnic and barbecues, the newspapers reported the fact giddily. Now here's a scene from an Arabian horse beauty competition in the Favorita, Palermo style.
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The wall of kindness

February 7, 2016

Tags: palermo, urban, wall of kindness, muro della gentilezza, sicily, poor, immigrants, mosque, Via Celso, sicilia, kindness, heart, center, giving, generous, thoughtful

The wall of Kindness in Via Celso in the city center
Following a European trend, someone in the heart of Palermo has started a "Wall of Kindness". One clothesline where people can leave what they want to donate, or take what they need, not far from the city's principal mosque. Here is a one-minute video report from La Repubblica.

More hexagons

January 24, 2016

Tags: Via Cartari, Kalsa, Palero, Sicily, paving, stones, hexagonal, hexagon, nice touch, antiquity, beauty, old, city, urban

Via Cartari in the Kalsa, just a block east of the boulevard Via Vittorio Emanuele, is honeycombed with six-sided paving stones.
Via Cartari is one of the few historic streets to retain its hexagonal paving stone. I lived just a block from this little street and saw it every time I walked to the Antica Focacceria San Francesco. This was the paper makers' street. A great neighborhood. Gotta tell you that the photographer had smelly (more…)

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.

Cityscape: Piazzetta degli Angelini

January 6, 2016

Tags: palermo, sicily, slideshow, monuments, beautiful, city, urban, europe, historic center


The paving stones are honeycomb-shaped! Author Giuseppe Di Lampedusa's family home gave onto this piazzetta. It was destroyed by an American bomb during WWII, rebuilt and now, just recently, turned into apartments. There used to be a water tower and fountain here that brought icy cold water from the mountains, and thirsty aristocrats would (more…)

Cityscape: La Guilla

January 4, 2016

Tags: la guilla, palermo, cathedral, street. scene, urban, steps, salita, ramirez, Sicily

This is why I love to roam the back streets of Palermo -- you find streets like this in the historic center. It had been a dump but now it's cleaned up, and somebody started a little garden there. From the Facebok group I Monumenti Abbandonati di Palermo, a group which also meets physically (more…)

Happy New Year

December 31, 2015

Tags: palermo, sicily, slideshow, monuments, beautiful, city, urban, europe, historic center

A look at the best of Palermo.

Free Jazz at Palazzo Mirto

December 9, 2015

Tags: palermo, sicily, urban, culture, music, jazz, concert, free, mirto, palazzo mirto, piazza marina, opportunity, thrinax quartet, louis prima

If you were living in Palermo, this evening you could attend a free jazz concert given in this room at the mansion/museum of Palazzo Mirto just off Piazza Marina in the historic center of Palermo.
The Thrinax Quartet will play the canopied, tapestried, frescoed and chandeliered baldacchino room at the Mirto Palace at five this afternoon. The concert is dedicated to Louis Prima. Admission is free.

Destroyed Liberty masterpiece may be reproduced in situ

November 30, 2015

Tags: ernesto basile, architect, Liberty style, art nouveau, architecture, treasure, destroyed, mob, mafia, reconstruct, palermo, sicily, urban, recoup, culture

Two young Palermo architects have proposed recreating Ernesto Basile's Liberty masterpiece, Villa Deliella, according to the original blueprints which still exist, and to make a museum of it. The idea has the support of politician, art critic and entertainer Vittorio Sgarbi. The art nouveau masterpiece was destroyed over a weekend in 1959 during the Sack of Palermo by mob types who wanted to clear space for their concrete high-density retail/ apartment buildings. From Best of Sicily magazine: (more…)

San Lorenzo: Night of the Shooting Stars over Palermo

August 5, 2015

Tags: San Nicolo, centro storico, torre, Palermo, sicilia, sicily, night, shooting stars, San Lorenzo, vista, urban, sky, stars

Night of the Shooting stars from the bell tower of the Church of San Nicolo in Albergheria, Palermo
The non-profit association Terradamare offers a unique occasion to tourists and locals alike to climb the stairs to the terrace around the belltower of San Nicolo` di Bari in Albergheria to see the night sky over the historic center of Palermo and to launch a little lantern from on high. Tickets are three euro. (more…)

A restored palace in Via Maqueda

July 13, 2015

Tags: palazzo Gravina, palermo, sicily, palace, restoration, chandeliers, fresco, ceiling, proud, beauty, urban

You cannot tell a book by its cover. From the outside this palace does not look like much. The man who showed me around has a workshop downstairs. He went to school in this building, now a private residence owned by the family who once owned Palermo's soccer team. And a pasta factory.

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