Buongiorno Buongiorno, come state?
I’m delighted and so honored to share beautiful news with you this morning. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Author Janice Therese Mancuso, also Owner and Editor of The Italian American Press, a resource for Authors writing about Italian and Italian American heritage, culture and history — I was added and recognized as an emerging Italian American Author in the USA along with my first literary creation, “My Sicily”. I was so touched and moved by this recognition, received with much gratitude for Janice, such a passionate and involved Ambassador of Italian Culture in the USA.
You will find a page dedicated to my biography, book, a short interview and upcoming book events at this direct link:
Janice was doubly kind and also graciously reviewed my book for another of her prominent and highly successful endeavors “Thirty One Days of Italians” to promote and expand on October as Italian American Heritage Month. The website has grown tremendously in recent years to become a resource to document and research Italian American History. Below is Janice’s review of “My Sicily” – you may also read it directly on the website at http://home.earthlink.net/~31italians/id75.html
My Sicily: Life in the cusp of the Mediterranean Sea
Francesca V. Mignosa
Imagine you’re on a ferry—cappuccino in one hand, cornetto (croissant) in the other—crossing the Straits of Messina from Calabria to Sicily and gazing at the sky as the sunrise turns it “a romantic and poetic light pink in all its gentle shades.” This is your introduction to Sicily through the eyes and heart of Francesca Mignosa. “And there it slowly appears on the horizon in its natural beauty and simplicity, the island I was born in: SICILIA …”
My Sicily: Life in the cusp of the Mediterranean Sea offers a glimpse into Francesca’s life in Sicily starting on the east side of the island in Augusta, the town where she was born, and ending with her descriptions of some of the Sicilian Islands—the Aeolian Islands, Aegadian Islands, Pelagian Islands, and Pantelleria.
Her journey begins with memories of her childhood in Augusta bringing to mind the balcone (balcony) where “there was a small white table and chairs, a lemon tree and a number of piante di ogni genere (plants of all sorts) along with a Romeo and Juliet style railing.” From that balcone, Francesca and her sister could look down into the cortile (courtyard). “It was as if we were the audience to one amazing theatrical composition.”
Several miles north of Augusta is the “picturesque maritime village” of Brucoli, home of the author’s maternal grandparents. “Comprised of three streets” … “it also contains a number of grottos where many were either born (like one of my grandmother’s sisters) or hid from the enemy during World War II.”
Just south of Augusta is Ortigia, “the ancient part of the city of Siracusa,” where “Aretusa and Alfeo … two characters from Greek mythology” are immortalized, and when “illuminated by romantic sunsets,” it could be “one of your most memorable moments on the island,” as it is for the author. Take a side trip to Pantalica, located between Augusta and Siracusa, to visit “the largest necropolis of the Mediterranean with over 5,000 grottos used as tombs.”
Continue the voyage north to Catania, its baroque buildings constructed mainly from the lava of Mount Etna—an imposing slope in the city’s skyline. Francesca recommends a stroll through the streets at sunset when “the city is touched by a gentle light that makes the austere look of the black and white buildings more welcoming.” In the center of Catania’s Piazza del Duomo, an elephant sculpted from lava and supporting an Egyptian obelisk has many legends; in My Sicily, it’s “another fine example of cultural diversity and peaceful coexistence in Sicily.”
Further north along the coast, on the other side of Mount Etna, is the “enchanted and enchanting … gracious and romantic hilltop town of Taormina.” Francesca recalls, “We traveled often to Taormina on weekends – the season did not really matter for we were always attracted by its elegant beauty and magnetic power.” For stunning views of the bay and the volcano visit “The most illustrious ancient remain … the Greek Amphitheatre that has no equal for its scenic staging.”
As Francesca continues her journey throughout Sicily, she provides insightful details about some of the towns with suggestions for places to visit, where to eat, and where to stay. Her writing is sincere and the highlights are the memories of her times spent in Sicily. Added touches are the Sicilian proverbs that introduce most chapters.
My Sicily is an excellent travel guide—whether you take it with you to the island or read it and visit Sicily online. Either way, it will bring you closer to an island of historic importance, breathtaking views, stunning architecture, exotic scents, and vibrant people.
About Janice Therese Mancuso
The Italian American Press, a web-based business that helps publicize Italian American authors and books, is now owned by Janice Therese Mancuso. In 1998, Janice created a monthly newsletter for an Italian American women’s group, and began researching and writing about Italian and Italian American history and culture. While writing Con Amore, in 2004, she started Tutto Italiano, a monthly e-newsletter about everything Italian. After Con Amore was published in 2006, she founded Thirty-One Days of Italians to promote the extraordinary accomplishments those of Italian heritage have made to America. Janice writes book reviews, conducts interviews, and for five years, she contributed articles to an Italian American newspaper. Janice was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her father was eight years old when he immigrated to New York from Trapani, Sicily with his family. Her maternal grandfather is from the Naples area.
Thirty-One Days of Italians: http://home.earthlink.net/~31italians/
Italian American Press: http://www.italianamericanpress.com/
Con Amore: http://jtmconamore.com/index.htm