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Sicily, Part 5I had an appointment with Francesco Pantaleone, wanted to visit his contemporary art collection since I'm very interested in the work of Francesco Simeti and he has some fine pieces. But Pantaleone was called away to Catania and my visit was cancelled. Yet another excuse for a return to Palermo. ...
The Northeast, Part 2: The CarsoVenice to the Carso We began the day on a cultural note, with a visit to the Venetian Naval History museum, a unique perspective of this maritime city - great ship models, fantastic ex-votos featuring the perils of high seas. I looked for a bookstore with a new edition of my ...
The Grand Tour Part 7We began the day at the Cusa quarries in Campobello di Mazara, the source of Selinunte's stonework. A beautiful new museum, totally empty of tourists, answered the question "just how did they manage to quarry those huge columns and get them to Selinunte?". There's also the Museum of Farm Work--tools, ...
The Grand Tour Part 6Our next destination was Sciacca. We simply had to visit the Enchanted Castle, not really a castle and not really enchanted, but the work of outsider artist Filippo Bentivenga. We wandered the cobblestone paths winding through the hillside, admiring heads sculpted of stone and carved into olive trees in a ...
The Grand Tour Part 5The scenery on the way to Licata was uninspiring, fields of plastic greenhouses and a huge refinery outside Gela, which has to be the ugliest city in Sicily. But there was an archeological museum, a worthwhile detour. We strolled through rooms without any tourists and learned about Gela, an important ...
The Grand Tour Part 2With Vito Santoro behind the wheel, my sister Suzanne and I headed for Sortino. I'd heard about a Sicilian marionette museum and a local specialty, pizzoli, that I had to try. We passed a favorite truck stop, PANE CONDITO, (big sign, big parking lot, on the right hand side of ...
The Grand Tour Part 1I was inspired by a museum in Palazzuolo Acreide about the Grand Tour--young, upper-class Europeans, traveling for months in search of art, culture and the roots of western civilization, mingling with nobles. Only the most adventurous made it to Sicily. Times have changed but travel still isn't easy, and Sicily ...
E' curtiE' Curti is the kind of trattoria I dream about, in the region of Campania, outside Naples, on the slopes of Vesuvius. Its name is dialect for "short guys"--two Lilliputian midgets, retired circus impresarios, who opened this trattoria in 1924. Their niece Angela had to stand on a stool to ...