Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring Holidays

This year the Italians celebrate three legal holidays around the same time. Easter Monday, April 21st, is a national holiday when banks and most stores will be closed. A few pastry shops may be open and - in the evening - a few restaurants.

Friday, April 25th is "Liberation Day," the principal national holiday, marking Italy's "liberation" from Fascism, though the Americans and Brits who defeated the Germans and Italians will not be mentioned in the official festivities. (An ironic point is that in 1943-1945 our beloved Italia was, in effect, liberated from itself, but let's not go there...)

Then there's May Day, Thursday, May 1st, the socialist labour day, when there won't even be public bus service. In other words, virtually nobody will be working that day. Except, of course, bakers and others who operate their own small businesses.

The good news is that there won't be any other major holidays until August. June 2nd, Republic Day, isn't taken too seriously by anybody.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Reserve your Sicily tour and get a free book!

In connection with a special promotion offered exclusively through Best of Sicily, our friends in the tour department are including the newest book on Sicilian history with tours reserved before June that begin on any date scheduled in 2014. Visit the Golden Sicily tour page for details.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Women of Sicily by Jacqueline Alio

It's the first book on the women of Sicilian history written in English in the original by a Sicilian author based in Sicily. And written well.

Historian Jackie Alio's Women of Sicily presents profiles of seventeen medieval women, including several virtually ignored in the annals of history. Also featured is a brief but useful history of Sicily and a detailed chronology (timeline), along with a chapter on the status of Sicilian women in Italy today.

Though rarely presented in English for an international readership, the information on gender equality is really only a detail to place the role of Sicilian women in perspective. Indeed, a sobering implication here is that Italian women may have enjoyed greater gender equality in the 12th century than in the 20th.

Jacqueline Alio previously authored The Peoples of Sicily: A Multicultural Legacy. She is one of the few Sicilian historians known internationally.

Published by Trinacria Editions (New York), ISBN 9780991588602