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Sicily books

To understand the things that you see, and also those you don't see, when travelling around Sicily, some background reading is a good preparation for your trip.



Midnight in Sicily

Midnight in Sicily
by Peter Robb

This episodic investigation into modern Sicily and the Mafia is a superb introduction to the complicated contexts of Sicily (and of Italy). Peter Robb lived for years in Italy, and this is an informed, anecdotal account of his personal journey to understand the webs of crime and politics which entangle every aspect of existence here.

More information / buy Midnight in Sicily from Amazon.co.uk



The Leopard

The Leopard (Il Gattopardo)
by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Il Gattopardo is a haunting account of Sicily's politics and aristocracy at the time of Italy's unification. The principal character, a cynical prince, observes the paradoxical change and inertia of his times, while offering weary comment on the Sicilian character. Lampedusa was from the same aristocratic background as his characters, and expounds convincingly and elegantly upon his theme. In the sixties, the story was beautifully and lovingly filmed by Luchino Visconti, who knew a thing or two himself about Italy's faded aristocracy see the BFI's gallery). The film, featuring Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon, has been expertly remastered and is available on DVD (apparently only in Italy, though, so buy it during your trip). The ballroom scene was filmed in Palazzo Valguarnera Gangi, Palermo.

More information / buy The Leopard from Amazon.co.uk



Rough Guide to Sicily

The Rough Guide to Sicily

A decent guidebook is an essential tool for discovering Sicily, and the Rough Guide is about the most thorough you'll find for this part of Italy. The guidebook focusses on practical advice and information, but it also has enough background and description to give you a feel for the places described and to provide a taster for more indepth explorations.

More information / buy the Rough Guide to Sicily from Amazon.co.uk



In Sicily

In Sicily
by Norman Lewis

A classic book by an accomplished writer, In Sicily is an account of Sicily over the second half of the twentieth century. Through family connections and friendships, Lewis has valuable insights into the island to which he keeps returning.

More information / buy In Sicily from Amazon.co.uk



The Day of the Owl

The Day of the Owl (Il Giorno della Civetta)
by Leonardo Sciascia

Sparsely written, the novels of Sciascia put the author's native Sicily under a microscope. At a time when the Mafia was rarely named, Sciascia wrote about Sicilian realities and attitudes. The Day of the Owl begins with the shooting of a man in front of a bus in a small Sicilian piazza. By the time the police arrive the bus passengers have melted away, and there are no witnesses to help with the investigation ...

More information / buy The Day of the Owl from Amazon.co.uk


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