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Out of Palermo

Last Night in Palermo: 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  Read More 
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Last Day in Palermo

Piergiorgio Leone at the Grotta Perciata, Mondello
And I spent the morning in Mondello and Sferracavallo, by the sea. In Sferracavallo to see a complete, intact, protohistoric Bronze Age megalithic village, and in Mondello on the slopes of Monte Gallo to visit a panoramic, historic garden planted in the early 1900's, with archeological treasures from 10,000 years ago. Read More 
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Fra Biagio and the farms

Fra Biagio Conte
Fra Biagio Conte, a layman, a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis, houses and feeds more than a thousand people in his four urban shelters and communities in Palermo. His guests are Sicilians, Italians, Europeans, Asians, and Africans, men, women and children. Recently his prayers have been answered. He always wanted to  Read More 
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fantastic facade in Via Celso, Palermo


Loved this house. Found it in 2012 and went back this week to see it again. Behind the cathedral. Would love to meet the artist. Read More 
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Liberation Day/ Cupola SS. Salvatore


Today is a national holiday celebrating the moment the Americans liberated italy from the Nazis and fascists in World War II. The street markets are closed, no one is answering my phone calls so I went out and became a tourist. I paid four euros to enter the church of the Most Holy Savior (  Read More 
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Two Cute Girls

These two girls were waiting for the Dead Christ and Sorrowful Madonna to come out of the church on Good Friday. I thought they were extremely cute. They were not posing for me, but showing solidarity in the face of another, older girl, who was jealous of something they had, and who claimed, loudly and repeatedly, to have TEN of same. Read More 
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Meals on Wheels for the Homeless


Dr. Marina Scardavi founded a non-profit called Shadow Dance to aid the homeless in body and soul. She got to know Palermo's homeless people through her homeless friend, Mohammed, an Iranian immigrant who earned a degree in architecture at the University of Palermo, but who prefers to be a vagabond who cares for other street people.  Read More 
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Cops "afraid"

Cactus at my cousin's place
Just got back from four days away in Santa Margherita Belice where I stayed at my cousin's place. She said a few years ago their home was robbed, twice.
"All the gold," she said, all the gold items her children had been given at birth, at baptism, at graduations, the bracelet her husband gave her  Read More 
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Procession of the Dead Christ and Sorrowful Madonna



The Sicilians have a disconcerting custom of clapping for people in coffins. People they like.  Read More 
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Occupy

Antonella, her friend Cetty, and Cetty's newborn daughter, Nicole, in the Convento delle Vergini which they occupied.
From our kitchen balcony I can see the lights are on in the cloistered convent across Piazza Venezia. Since December 2013, the convent, empty for two years after the last three aged nuns living there were transfered, has been occupied by palermitan homeless families. I visited them two days ago. Ten families, 35 people, of whom 22 are children.  Read More 
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