Winner of the 2012-2013 Italian literary award “Sicilia Mondo”

Before departing the USA, I had been invited to visit the representatives of “Sicilia Mondo,” one of the most prestigious organizations in Sicily, that I had the honor of meeting for the first time in 2007 when I received the Italian Literary Award “Sicilia Mondo”.

They had learned about the publication of “My Sicily” and invited me to pay them a visit and bring them a copy of the book for their library/archives as well as the Sicilian Parliament.  I was humbled to receive the invitation and immediately accepted to visit accompanied by my best friend, Rossana.

The meeting took place on Sunday, October 21, 2012 in Catania, Sicily.  We were welcomed by delicious “gelato al pistacchio e cioccolato” {pistacchio and chocolate ice cream – typical of this area of Sicily because the best pistacchio on the island can be found in the town of Bronte, province of Catania, on the slopes of Mount Etna.  Many believe this pistacchio has magical properties for it contains all the minerals of Sicilian lava…}.

As we were enjoying amazing gelato, I presented my book to President Azzia and thanked him for having invited me to meet him and his team, who have become dear friends through the years.  President Azzia received the book, hugged me, and informed me that I was the winner of the 2012-2013 Literary Award “Sicilia Mondo,” first classified in the world, for my writing and my role as Ambassador of Sicily in the world.  The nomination and award are given in collaboration with the Parliament of Sicily – located in the capital, Palermo.

I was absolutely stunned for a few seconds – and then could only feel my best friend’s hug and congratulations.  You can imagine what an unforgettable evening that was…

I want to thank my loving parents for sharing with my sister and I the best of two worlds: Sicily and the USA, for allowing us to grow in a bicultural, bilingual dimension, for recognizing our interests early on in life and motivating us to always follow our dreams.

I dedicate this award to them, all their love, their presence and sacrifices so that my sister and I could know the world outside of our island — and yet never, ever, forget where we come from.

No matter your life situation, I want you to never stop believing in your dreams, to persevere through with faith and, most importantly, to always follow your heart.

With a grateful heart and every good wish ~


Francesca receives Italian Literary Award “Sicilia Mondo” in Catania, Sicily {with President Azzia}


Francesca and the Committee of “Sicilia Mondo” during presentation of Literary Award in Catania, Sicily

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