Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Kingdom of Sicily by Louis Mendola

On sale in October...

Friday, March 6, 2015

Women of Sicily: Saints, Queens & Rebels now on sale

The sale date of Jacqueline Alio's Women of Sicily has been moved up to Monday, March 23rd, a week ahead of the scheduled release date. This means that if you order it via Amazon or other online sellers it may be shipped to you on that date - perhaps a bit later in Britain and Australia than in Canada and the United States.

The ebook should be available by the end of this month and will cost slightly less than the paper version.

Incredible as it may seem, nothing like this series of historical biographies has ever been published in English, and very little has even been written in Italian.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Jacqueline Alio on Canadian Radio

Jackie Alio, whose book Women of Sicily is on sale online and in book shops, recently participated in a radio programme broadcast by the CBC featuring other guests such as professors Karla Mallette in the United States and David Abulafia in Britain.

Here is a link to the programme Ideas with Paul Kennedy about Sicily's multicultural society in the days of Frederick II: The Wonder of the World, Frederick II.

Jackie, of course, has a beautiful voice. More importantly, she knows what she's talking about.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

New President of Italy

For the first time in over three decades (since the appointment of anti-Fascist partisan Sandro Pertini in 1978), the President of the Italian Republic is somebody Italians can truly be proud of.

Sergio Mattarella, the first Sicilian to hold this office, is a jurist who has served as a high-court justice for years. Born in 1941, he is a father and a widower. His brother, also a lawyer and public servant, was assassinated by the Mafia in 1980. His father, a vocal anti-Fascist, was one of the founders of the Christian Democratic party and a strong opponent of organized crime and his party's involvement with it.

Unlike most of his predecessors, Mr Mattarella is not actually a lifelong politician, although he has served in parliament. He was formerly a Christian Democrat (until that party was dissolved), but his political positions and views are fairly centrist and quite consistent. More recently, he has enjoyed the support of the center-left.

It's nice to see that Italy's political establishment gets it right, every once in a while. Ogni tanto This was one of those very rare occasions.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Snow Greets 2015

New Years Eve found much of Sicily blanketed by snow. In the coastal cities there wasn't any real accumulation but the temperatures dropped into the 30s (F). Our pic shows the view of a snow-capped mountain seen from Palermo's Via Bottai near Piazza Marina yesterday. It's a bit warmer today.

Some of us here in Palermo regard the presence of snow on the surrounding mountains - if only for a day - as a sign that Winter has truly arrived. The Winter of 2013-2014 saw no such thing, and November 2014 experienced the warmest temperatures ever recorded for that month.

The Madonie and Nebrodi, Sicily's highest mountain ranges, will have at least some snow until early March, the Sicanian range (especially Rocca Bussambra and Mount Cammarata) a bit less.

Winter is a great time to visit Sicily. Think about it. But whatever season you choose, we offer some exceptional Sicily tours and travel services.

What's new in 2015? Best of Sicily sponsors the publication of several Sicily-related books and the list will grow this year. Of special interest are Jackie Alio's Women of Sicily and Francesca Lombardo's Sicilian Food & Wine.

We wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous year.