The Triumph of Death: Mysterious Plague Painting in Palermo
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The Triumph of Death: Mysterious Plague Painting in Palermo

Throughout the long, lonely months of our modern pandemic, I’ve been thinking about a dark and mysterious painting in Palermo known as “The Triumph of Death.” Known in Italian as Il Trionfo della Morte, the painting hangs in Palazzo Abatellis, a regional gallery in the Kalsa quarter of the Sicilian capital. Measuring 6 m x…

A Bribe-Free Holiday in Sicily
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A Bribe-Free Holiday in Sicily

The brave work of the anti-mafia organization AddioPizzo.org was recently brought to my attention. “Addio Pizzo” means “Goodbye, Pizzo,” the latter word meaning the protection money that hundreds of businesses throughout Sicily have had to pay to the powerful, omnipresent mafia. AddioPizzo was formed in 2004 after a group of young Sicilian entrepreneurs, afraid that…