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Sicilian Splendors

Discovering the Secret Places That Speak to the Heart

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


"A wondrously joyous account of travel as it should be." –Publishers Weekly

A travel narrative that focuses on Sicily's little-known regions, from the author of Seeking Sicily and Hidden Tuscany.

From Palermo to Castiglione di Sicilia to Alimena, Sicily holds great secrets from the past and unspoken promises. Tradition, in the form of festivals, the written word, photographs, and song, reverberates through village walls. Now, slowly shaking itself free of the Mafia, Sicily is opening itself up to visitors in ways it never has before.

Sicilian Splendors explores the history, politics, food, Mafia, and people which John Keahey encounters throughout his travels during his return to Sicily. Through conversing with natives and immersing himself in culture, Keahey illustrates a brand new Sicily no one has ever talked about before. Villagers, eager to welcome tourism and impart awareness of their cultural background, greet Keahey for meals and drink and walk him through their winding streets. They share stories of well-known writers, such as Maria Messina, who have found inspiration in Sicily’s villages. Keahey’s never-ending curiosity as a traveler shines light on Sicily’s mythical mysteries and portrays the island not only through his eyes but also through Sicily’s heart.

This picturesque travel memoir navigates Sicily today and seeks to understand Sicily’s past. In lyrical prose and vivid dialect, Keahey paints images of the island’s villages, people, and culture with careful strokes and a meticulously even hand.

Keahey not only serves as a guide through the marvel of Sicily’s identity, but he also looks deeply into Sicily’s soul.

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 11, 2018 – Keahey (Seeking Sicily) is a congenial host in this sunny and inquisitive memoir of his three-month excursion to the least-visited parts of Sicily. He shows up in a town of a few hundred or a thousand people with a loose plan that is almost always guided by the locals ("I come into a village unannounced, ask questions, usually at a bar, where someone almost always knows the answers or knows somebody who knows"), who eventually show him around. Keahey interweaves Sicily's history of invasions (Greek, Roman, Norman, and Arab) and their cultural and culinary legacies into his story, between getting sidetracked by a conversation with a new Sicilian friend or a delicious local pasta dish (while visiting Calascibetta, Keahey ate "some twisted noodles I had never seen before with ricotta and a tomato sauce"). The book has an air of melancholy to it, as well: Keahey notes how emigration to northern Italy or abroad has left an interior filled with empty buildings, some of which are now being rehabbed into B&Bs by those trying to make a living off the growing tourism industry. This is a wondrously joyous account of travel as it should be.
Sicilian Splendors
View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Europe
  • Published: Nov 13, 2018
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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