Borgo Parrini Inspires

Yesterday, I took a side trip to Borgo Parrini, a tiny neighborhood of the town of Partinico, which you’ll find a few miles west of Palermo. Originally developed in the 16th century by the Jesuits (Parrini means priests.), the division of homes has been occupied over the centuries by various residents, mostly supporting agricultural activities…

Ceramic Pinecones In Sicily

Pinecones are a powerful symbol that you’ll see all over Sicily and southern Italy in ceramic (like these shown) on balconies, front gates, and prominently displayed inside homes. The significance of pinecones in modern times is one of hospitality and welcoming, but not only. The pinecone as a botanical is a reproductive organ. Female pinecones…

Presenting Him In Palermo: The Epiphany

Buona Epifania! Happy Epiphany! This magnificent depiction of the Nativity was commissioned by Palermo’s Oratorio of San Lorenzo in 1609. It illustrates the newborn baby Jesus with Saint Francis (top right) and Saint Lawrence (left) looking over the shoulder of the Virgin Mother. Painted by Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610)) in the chiaroscuro technique,…

Stunning Sicily October 2021, Day 4

Ciao from Stunning Sicily, Day 4! Siracusa has one of the largest and most extensive Christian catacombs outside of Rome, and we explored the dark, damp, and mysterious underground pathways of San Giovanni’s Catacombs and San Marciano’s Crypt with our local, expert guide Lucia. After a visit to the Orsi archeological museum to see the breathtaking statue of…

Traditional Sicilian Baskets

These traditional Sicilian baskets handmade from river reeds are used for countless purposes. This particular size with the handle may often be seen tied to a rope, being lowered from balconies throughout Sicily. Called “un panaru” in Sicilian, they are used to carry everything from fruits such as lemons, grapes, and olives to foodstuffs like…