Fishing For My Sicilian Heritage

Yesterday, I spent a heartwarming morning with Michelangelo Balistreri at the Museo dell’Acciuga di Aspra in Aspra (Palermo Province). It was a journey into my family history. Anyone with fisherman roots from Sicily’s north coast will appreciate a visit to this outstanding labor of love. Michelangelo and artist Francesco Maglio have created a beautiful tribute…

My Roots Research In Sicily

What do you think? Is there a likeness? I often help our Experience Sicily clients conduct heritage research in Sicily. When I’m with them (which I love!), or we connect them with locals to assist at the municipal offices of vital records (Anagrafe). Well, this week, I turned the tables on myself. I’ve been staying…

Join Us For Fun In The Sun And In The Kitchen This September in Sicily

We’re doing research today for our boat excursion (with Escursioni Team Shark Lanzafame) for September’s Stirring Sicily food and wine tour! Here’s an account of the beautiful coastline of Capo Zafferano. Meanwhile, I have to say the snorkeling at Le Formiche, an undersea mountain range that is a coral reef of sorts, was magnificent! I…

Home Altars in Sant’Elia

Live from Sicily! This morning on my walk near where I’m staying, I took note of the home altars dedicated to the veneration of Our Lady of the Sorrows (La Vergine di S.S. Addolorata). Home altars such as these, built into the facades of homes and dedicated to various saints, are common all over Sicily.

How To Catch Olives

Yes, those are nets. He’s preparing them for the olive harvest. The farmers lay these nets on the ground below the olive trees and, if done in the traditional way with their hands and might, they shake the trees and with their fingers prompt the olives to fall to the ground, catching them in the…

The Squad (As My Father Likes To Say)

In 1950, my father Peter (Pietro), uncle Stefano, and grandmother Lorenzina traveled to Sicily from Brooklyn for a 3-month visit. The five cousins standing on this hill overlooking Porticello and Bagheria–Pietro, Stefano, Franco, Pietro, and Mimmo–bonded that summer. I’m fortunate to have met them all. What a gang! Have you met your relatives in the…