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Out of Palermo

Mafioso shot down while riding his bike in Palermo

From The Guardian:

A mafia boss has been gunned down while riding his bicycle in Sicily, in what appeared to have been the sort of mob killing that has become rarer in recent years as dangerous figures have been locked up.

Giuseppe Dainotti, 67, was shot in the head as he cycled along a street in Palermo, almost 25 years to the day since anti-Mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone was killed in a bomb blast on a motorway on the Italian island.

Photographs of Monday’s crime scene evoked decades of violence in the Sicilian capital, showing Dainotti’s body covered by a sheet, only his shoes on show, and the white bicycle he was riding lying where it fell. Read More 
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Knifemakers of Palermo

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. Read More 
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Il capo market in the morning

Il Capo street market, Palermo, 11 a.m. Photo: Rosa Maria Zito
One of Palermo's historic street markets.
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Photo with Zia Tina: 50 cents

Bunch of grown men in their forties in the Capo market quartiere cleaned out a warehouse and found this fake mummy that had been given to one guy's father at Carnevale when he was a kid. They decided to have a laugh, dressed it up in an old ladies' shmatte, called her Aunt Titina  Read More 
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Schoolbus

This looks like fun. Palermo in the early 1900s, says the caption. Posted by Anna Maria Virzi.
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Fruit vendor at the Capo market

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. Read More 
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rainy day today in Palermo

It's been raining in Palermo. Pilons that hold up bridges have moved out of place on the Palermo-Sciacca highway, a boulder rolled off a mountain and killed an 88-year-old woman asleep in her bed in Mondello ( maybe the house was built illegally close to the mountain) and Corso Vittorio Emanuele stones shone under this bike.
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Votive altar at night

This votive altar was in the Albergheria quarter. A the end of this street are five steps down and you are right in front of the gated entrance to the cathedral. I loved the lights strung on in vertical stripes.
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Persimmons

Persimmons at Ballaro` market
I ate my first persimmon in Palermo. You cut off the top and eat he flesh with a small spoon. So sweet, one does not talk while eating them. Friends will bring over a basket of them for dessert. They look like frosted tomatoes.
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My favorite bookstore

Stacks in an alley near the post office.
So many stories in this little alley in a street parallel to Via Roma near the post office, and not all of them were in books. I got sucked into this vicolo by the books and I stayed for the bookseller, Pietro Tramonte. More on him tomorrow.
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