Giuseppe Barboglio, one of Garibaldi’s gorgeous soldiers, wears the Marsala Medal, awarded by the city of Palermo in 1865. He was twenty-two years old when the Red Shirts swept across the northern coast of Sicily in 1860 to defeat the Bourbons and unify Sicily with Sardinia and Savoy. … [Read more...] about Marsala Medal
June 9, 1866. This morning, driving home from delivering Crocifisa Abatti’s thirteenth child, I see a knot of men gathered in the piazza. They jostle one another and raise a cloud of dust. Waiting to hear the call to arms, a grizzled one tells me. I smell sheep, stale wine, and tobacco. He slaps Largo’s rump, but the mule knows better than to run. There’s talk in the streets of war with Austria. Sicily bleeds, and we go to war. … [Read more...] about In the Piazza
I remember Mario bringing home the paper on 7 June 1860, Carmela grabbing it from his hands. Giorgio said Garibaldi had won, we'd all won. He voted for Unification in the plebiscite that fall, but I was sorry for the queen. Giorgio laughed at that, said she never cared a jot for Sicilians, but I have no plans to remove her picture from the parlor. … [Read more...] about Giornale di Sicilia published for the first time 151 years ago today.
Surviving your own death can be tricksy, but there are advantages. Here are ten: You can spend your own payout. No need to struggle with decisions. You have the hindsight of history, the great perspective—in my case, 184 years. Or, is it that history is no more? You can surprise the relatives. Take, for instance, Teo, my son-in-law. But that’s another post. You can be in several places at once. In several different time slots. Or not. No need to diet. Eat whatever, wherever, … [Read more...] about Ten Advantages To Surviving Your Own Death
Serafina Fiori, midwife and sleuth, was born in 1827 to parents of the merchant class in Trano Mare, a fictional village near Palermo in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. She married Giorgio Fiori, the apothecary’s son, in 1847. They had seven children. She died on Elizabeth Street, Lower East Side, in 1914, but survives. … [Read more...] about Introducing Serafina