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ITALY

ITALY - Sicily
Major Cities and Towns: Palermo, Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Ragusa, Siracusa, Trapani

PRACTICALITIES
Eyewitness Sicily
Lonely Planet Sicily Travel Guide
Insight Sicily Rough Sicily
BETWEEN MEALS
 
Blue Guide: Sicily
Michelin Green Sicily, $20.00
BACKGROUND
 
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  POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE (Mary Simeti)
  SICILIAN CAROUSEL
 

MATTANZA

Publisher Marketing: Every spring for untold centuries, great schools of giant bluefin tuna have swum through the Strait of Gibraltar to spawn in the Mediterranean Sea. And there, for untold centuries, men have been waiting for them. In this stunning debut, Theresa Maggio brings us inside the insular world of the tonnara -- the ritual trapping and killing of bluefin enacted by fishermen since the Stone Age. In a single, bloody spectacle -- called the mattanza -- the fishermen harvest the bluefin, lifting them by hand from the Chamber of Death, the last room in an elaborate trap. Theresa Maggio witnessed her first mattanza on Favignana, a butterfly-shaped island off the cost of Sicily. Brought to the island by a fisherman who was in love with her, Maggio in turn fell in love with Favignana, with its white magic and stonework, its anchors and nets. Penetrating this exotic, all-male world as no woman has before her, Maggio documents a dark and beautiful ritual that might soon disappear -- a casualty of the modern fishing industry. Part memoir, part natural history, part travelogue, Mattanza is a riveting narrative of one woman's journey into another world, a world where moon lemons grow wild, and where the sea holds the promise of renewal.

 

Midnight in Sicily, Peter Robb

In an intoxicating mix of crime, travel, and food writing, Robb, a writer who lived in Southern Italy for fourteen years, sets out to understand both the historic roots of the Mafia and its central place in contemporary Italian politics. And whether he's touting the gustatory strength of Neapolitan espresso, unveiling the Arabic origins of pasta, or unraveling the criminal history of a bandit, Robb seductively brings Sicilian culture to life.

$14.95 (softcover)
 

On Persephone's Island: a Sicilian Journal, Mary Taylor Simeti

An absorbing account of a love affair with Sicily.

$14.00 (softcover)
 
Fiction

THE LEOPARD, Guiseppe Di Lampedusa, $12.00

A classic of modern fiction, this is the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. Set against the political upheavals of Italy in the 1860's, is Don Fabrizio, a Sicilian prince of immense sensual appetites, enormous wealth, and great personal magnetism. Around this powerful figure swirls a glittering array of characters, a Bourbon kind, liberals and pseudo-liberals, peasants and millionaires, all nervously anticipating, in their own particular ways, the effects of the popular hero Garibaldi on their lives. Burt Lancaster starred in Visconti's film version.

BLOOD RAIN

Dead Lagoon, an Aurelio Zen mystery, $12.00, Michael Dibdin (fiction)

Aurelio Zen finds himself with an assignment he'd rather have avoided. After years of, shall we say, flirting with the enemy, he finds himself in the heart of hostile territory: Sicily, the ancient, beautiful island where blood has been know to flow like wine, if not water, and the distinction between the police and the criminals is a fine one. When Zen's adopted daughter Carla comes across some information that certain people wish to remain secret and develops a friendship with a magistrate on the Mafia's most wanted list, the plot develops into an enthralling invention.

Also available at $12.00 each: Cosi Fan Tutti (Naples) ; Rat King (Perugia) ; Long Finish (Rome); Vendetta (Sardinia) ; Blood Rain (Sicily)(paper due in May 2001/ hardcover is $23.00)

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