Buona Madonna!

Buona Madonna! This is how my cousin Evelina in Sicily greeted me by text today. So, Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception or la Festa dell’Immacolata to you! Today’s feast recognizes that the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived without original sin — something with which, in Catholic dogma, every person is considered…

Sicilian Poetry Reading At Seaton Hall University

Ni viriemu! See you! Thurs., Nov., 8 at Seaton Hall University, actor Michael Badalucco will read the poetry of Sicilian poet Nino Provenzano (from Castellammare del Golfo, pictured), translated by Professor Gaetano Cipolla. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Delegation of the Constantinian Order and the Alberto Italian Studies Institute, the event is at 6 p.m. in…

Mazara del Vallo

Piazza della Repubblica, pictured, is the heart of the city of Mazara del Vallo in southwestern Sicily. Mazara del Vallo is considered the most important fishing port in Italy. Founded by the Phoenicians as a trading post, it was significant during the Arab era, when it was the capital of Val di Mazara, one of…

Let’s Talk Cheese: Part 9

In the Valle del Belice in Trapani Province, Sicily, they produce a DOP (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta or Protected Designation of Origin) certified “pasta filata” (stretched/pulled) cheese called Vastedda della Valle del Belice. The name, vastedda, comes from the local Sicilian language–vasta means “gone bad.” In other words, the cheese is made from pecorino cheese that…