Planning a Sicilian themed event in New York City.

Planning an Event or Exhibit: Subject Sicily

La RosaWorks can organize a wide range of events where Sicily is the focus. From exhibits to demonstrations, from concerts to banquets, La RosaWorks creates engaging, memorable opportunities to explore and enjoy the rich culture, traditions, food, wine and history of Sicily. Utilizing the abundant community of Sicilian artists, writers, musicians, educators, and food professionals, our events can both entertain and enlighten.

We bring people together who share interests. We bring curious people to the table. We uncover the heart and soul of Sicily.

Recent & Past Events

Events & Announcements


For current event and tour announcements, interesting articles and photos, please like my La RosaWorks Sicily page on FB.

Events

Exciting Plans Continue as the Due South Art Initiative Approaches Its February Opening with La RosaWorks as Consultant

By Karen La Rosa

As published in Updates From La RosaWorks, October 2016


La Rosaworks is pleased to be the Sicily consultant to the Due South initiative and to share the released details of this exciting project so you can follow along with this international collaboration in the making.

Due South, the second project in a quartet of island-based explorations, highlights an international art exchange and exhibit between American and Italian artists. Due South (duesouth2016.com) focuses on the volcanic island of Sicily. This project is an international first, an opportunity that begins a cultural and artistic dialogue between the United States and Sicily.

After three years of artistic exploration, works informed by insider and outsider perspectives will be displayed at the Due South exhibition, presented at The Delaware Contemporary from January 28-April 30, 2017.

The official opening is February 3rd. Due South is actively working on a Sicilian exhibition to coincide with Manifesta 12 in 2018.

Come see Sicily through the artists’ eyes!

The exhibition will feature painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video, printmaking, ceramics, text-based, and collaborative community projects by leading regional and international artists. The exhibiting Italian/Sicilian artists are: Federico Baronello, Letizia Battaglia, Glauco Canalis, cement (artist duo Gabriele Abbruzzese and Lisa Wade), Gabriella Ciancimino, Massimo Cristaldi, Flavio Favelli, Carlo and Fabio Ingrassia, Filippo Leonardi, Cristina LaRocca, Loredana Longo, Nicolo Morales, Ignazio Mortellaro, Francesco Nonino, Luca Nostri, Marinella Senatore, and Massimo Vitali.

Sicilian projects by Paris-based Benoit Felici and Alice Guareschi, Amsterdam-based Petra Noordkamp and British artist Isaac Julien will be featured.

American artists include Marianne Bernstein, Cindi Ettinger, John Broderick Heron, Andrea Hornick, Jane Irish, Kelsey Halliday Johnson, David Scott Kessler, Zya Levy, Matthew Mazzotta & Sujin Lim, Andrea Modica, Serena Perrone, Alex Tyson, and Steven Earl Weber.

Painter, ceramicist, and Joan Mitchell Foundation grantee Jane Irish, pictured on the right, was invited into various palazzi throughout Sicily to paint on site. La RosaWorks facilitated all the arrangements and accompanied the artist.

During the course of the exhibit, public programming is currently being planned in collaboration with the Region of Sicily and the Italian Consulate in Philadelphia, dedicated to exploring new currents in contemporary art and international themes relevant to Sicily. Stay tuned to the Due South website (duesouth2016.com) for more information.

The Due South initiative, began well in advance of the announcement that Palermo, Sicily, was chosen as the location to host Manifesta 12, the renown international and influential contemporary art biennial. It is strong recognition and a vote of enormous confidence from the international art community. The international festival will consider ideas such as "who owns the city of Palermo?" and "how to claim back the city" with a focus on works addressing migration and climate change.

As noted by Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo, “Manifesta 12 in Palermo in 2018 will be a fantastic opportunity for the city to reinvigorate its local and international identity. It is a moment for Europe to appreciate the significance of its Mediterranean dimension and identity; Palermo brings Manifesta to the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean to Europe. Manifesta is an opportunity to celebrate palermo for what it really is: a laboratory for the humanities, arts and culture. The city will be able to renew itself and pave a way for its future. ”

The Due South project is a culmination of three years of artistic research, with leading American artists traveling and completing residencies in Sicily while beginning dialogues with acclaimed Italian artists, who will exhibit work alongside their American colleagues.

La RosaWorks is grateful to the Region of Sicily, and friends there, who are enthusiastic supporters of this project.

Due South is actively seeking corporate and individuals for high visibility sponsorship to support the transporting of art and artists from Sicily and other related costs. We also welcome press inquiries from the USA and abroad.

La RosaWorks Sicily Travel & Tourism is acting as consultant for Due South, for activities and contacts in Sicily, tours, press and sponsorship.

For further information, please contact Karen La Rosa at

For more information: duesouth2016.com

Artists enjoying a moment by the Sicilian Sea

Artists enjoying a moment by the sea in Aspra

Logos for Regione Siciliana, The Delaware COntemporary, and Due South





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Alice Guareschi, Distance Becomes The Secret Language With Which The Conversation Takes Place, 2011, site specific installation on the Sicilian island of Pantelleria

Alice Guareschi, Distance Becomes The Secret Language With Which The Conversation Takes Place, 2011, site specific installation on the Sicilian island of Pantelleria

After a successful meeting with the Region of Sicily. With Due South Curator Marianne Bernstein and artist Jackie Milad

After a successful meeting with the Region of Sicily. With Due South Curator Marianne Bernstein and artist Jackie Milad

Mitchell Foundation grantee Jane Irish was invited into various palazzi throughout Sicily to paint on site.

Artist Jane Irish painting in Palazzo Francavilla, Palermo. Photo courtesy Marianne Bernstein

Atop Mount Etna, participating artists were inspired by the majesty and mystery of nature

Atop Mount Etna, participating artists were inspired by the majesty and mystery of nature. Photo courtesy Marianne Bernstein

Participating artists involved in research and exploration of the many facets of the volcanic island

Participating artists involved in research and exploration of the many facets of the volcanic island. Photo courtesy Marianne Bernstein

All Eyes are Pointing Due South to Sicily

By Karen La Rosa

As published on Times Of Sicily
April 11, 2016

Author’s Note: “La RosaWorks is proud to be the Sicily consultant on many aspects of the important initiative entitled, Due South, www.duesouth2016.com, together with the Delaware Contemporary Museum http://www.thedcca.org/ and 28 artists including both Sicilians and Americans. These artists will consider the volcanic island of Sicily from inside and outside perspectives, weaving their observations and experiences in Sicily into conceptual art pieces. The resulting works will be exhibited at the DCA Museum for 3 months, beginning January 2017, offering great exposure for the Sicilian artists in the US. The Museum will host many events to promote Sicily, its history, culture, wine and food traditions. The Museum will then host a tour to Sicily with La RosaWorks, in conjunction with the Biennial Manifesta, http://manifesta.org/2015/11/m12-to-be-hosted-in-palermo/ where participants will have an opportunity to get an up close look at the growing contemporary art scene in Palermo, and Due South will be hosted in a satellite exhibit at the prestigious Francesco Pantaleone Gallery http://www.fpac.it/site/  This project is important in that it offers much cross cultural pollination, artist collaboration, and excellent exposure for the both the artists and the magical island of Sicily." 

Lampedusa’s famed quote, “If things are to remain the same they will have to change,” is still relevant today. To the keen eye, this is evident in an artistic renaissance happening in Sicily today. Once prized for its strategic position connecting disparate worlds and culture, that advantage changed long ago. In recent history, Sicily and its art scene have occupied a seat largely under the radar, but is now showing signs of transformation.

Sicily has always been revered for exceptional craftsmanship in mosaics, ceramics, traditional cart design, textiles, sculpture, architecture, painting, and even food and wine, elevated to an art form on the Island. From Antonello da Messina, to Serpotta, to Caravaggio, to Guttuso, and with every new kingdom imparting its own fine artistic merits, The inspiration continues today in Palermo’s warren of old streets, in the historical Jewish and Arab quarters, as well as in Catania and Siracusa. Small, once deserted shops are re-opening, creating a vibrant SoHo feel. Run by both Sicilian and mainland young entrepreneurial artists and crafts people, many are incorporating traditional Sicilian designs into a re-imagined sensibility, reflecting modern culture and society. In yet other restored and innovative spaces, there is a burgeoning contemporary art scene, that in the last ten years functioned mostly underground, but today is working to establish itself on a broader playing field, hosting interesting shows at a number of intriguing spaces and galleries. For artists, the benefits of traveling abroad plus access to world-class galleries such as Francesco Pantaleone (Palermo) and Gianluca Collica (Catania); curators such as Daniela Bigi, Laura Barreca, and Giusi Diana; and a tightly knit community of artists, have played a significant role in challenging the insularity inherent in island culture. Exposure instigates new questions about preserving tradition and making new statements in art. The excitement created by these new currents are inspiring culture enthusiasts to visit Sicily more often.

Manifesta 12, an important biennale, has chosen Palermo as its site for 2018.

Marianne Bernstein is a seasoned curator of contemporary art projects and a visionary who is always pushing boundaries. She chose Sicily for the second phase of an international curatorial project titled Due South, centered on volcanic islands. The project melds art and interpretation on myriad levels, integrating Sicilian and American artists with local communities in fresh new ways. Part of Due South’s mission is to add to the vocabulary that describes a place so as to shake up pre-conceived notions with fresh interpretation. Due North, the first such project, took artists back and forth between Iceland and the US, to explore, immerse, and create. Three years of focused exploration, exchange, and individual artistic expression culminated in a well-attended and reviewed exhibition in Philadelphia that included installations, video, and prints.

Bernstein’s second installment, Due South is a rich and exciting creative exchange of 24 artists, between Sicily and the United States, but it is so much more than that. Sicily is central to multicultural history and art, a place steeped in tradition and mythology, and breathtaking beauty, worthy of Stendhal. Yet, on some levels it is choked by a perceived and static international reputation, a fixed idea whose time to change is upon us. Bernstein recognized boundaries to be challenged by examining how Sicily is viewed from both the inside and out.

The Due South initiative is as inspirational as it is exceptional. The participating artists work in diverse mediums. Since Due South commenced, nearly two years ago, artists have forged a web of friendships across the island, embracing cultural differences and artistic ideas, absorbing histories, the landscape, and the dichotomies of everyday life. Bernstein herself has been to Sicily 7 times already. She has fallen in love with the island, met with artists and curators, residents, workers, entrepreneurs, and farmers. She has explored the migrant issue, co-directing and producing the creation of a short documentary film about a young boy who came over alone on one of the boats. She has engaged many in a passionate conversation about how to represent everyday life in new ways; with history and tradition in mind. It is an ongoing, energizing dialogue.

In January 2017, the Delaware Contemporary museum will present a large Due South exhibition for an exciting three-month run. The gallery spaces are large and airy. They will host events aimed at highlighting the rich Sicilian cultural experience and hope to engage many in experiencing this enigmatic island through fresh eyes. Later that year, and in conjunction with the Manifesta biennale, the museum will host a private tour to Sicily for a limited number of participants, offering behind the scenes visits with artists and other unique opportunities.

The opportunities for growth and understanding through a project like Due South are many. Its overt mission of creating works of art from informed and fresh perspectives creates awareness and draws attention to Sicily, affording its artists international recognition, and the underlying message of embracing the outside world and inviting it back in for a visit, can only result in growth and opportunity for Sicily as a whole.

The Delaware Contemporary is seeking corporate and individual sponsorship in support of the Due South exhibit and events. All contributions are tax-deductible and will be recognized in all exhibit related materials. Please contact Karen La Rosa, project consultant, for more information at

For more information: duesouth2016.com

At Castelbuono, with Laura Barreca, Francesco Pantaleone, and other important curators and artists in the Sicilian art scene

At Castelbuono, with Laura Barreca, Francesco Pantaleone, and other important curators and artists in the Sicilian art scene

Due South Curator Marianne Bernstein

Due South Curator Marianne Bernstein

Delaware Contemporary

Delaware Contemporary

Due South artists

Due South artists

Recent and Past Events

Western Sicily Revisited: An Archaeology of Cross-Cultural Encounters

New York University

November 8, 2013

NYU Center for Ancient Studies hosts The 2013 Ranieri Colloquium

Clemente Marconi was sent to Selinunte when he was just 21 as a student. He has been returning ever since in his capacity as Professor in the History of Greek Art and Archaeology and Director, IFA Excavations at Selinunte. Selinunte is very evocative place, an important early Greek settlement perched above the crashing waves of the Mediterranean blue sea. So easy is it to imagine life there, but the layers of history left behind are dense. Prof. Marconi specializing in the Archaic and Classical periods, dedicates much of his life to piecing together, quite literally, the history of this place.

On February 8, at the invitation of Prof. Marconi, 7 scholars gathered at NYU. From Catania and Selinunte, Princeton, Stanford, University of Chicago and Zurich, they presented papers addressing different perspectives of analysis for what was this pivotal Greek city. Selinunte achieved such remarkable sophistication, that it eventually influenced Greece. Their research is fascinating and illuminating, stemming from the study of pottery fragments, coins, inscriptions, migration, temples; the evolution of their use and location in a social context, how tyranny defined and altered the cities based on found writings, and new thoughts about assimilation among the native Sikans and Elymians.  There are countless ways to examine the layers of time buried in the sands.

The ultimate detectives, these distinguished historians and others have worked side by side to explain the historical and cultural course of events, the people that affected them and the context in which they occurred. A scholarly eye analyzes a potsherd no bigger than a cracker and can date it from the material, the coloring, the type of decoration or portrait, where it was found and what other items were around it. Thousands of remains are uncovered in this and other locations in Sicily. Digging anywhere on this island crossroads is bound to yield something. It is arduous, hard work, often times under a baking sun, but work that informs and adds to the worlds compendium of historical knowledge. I imagine it must be very satisfying

II was recently in Motya, the first Phoenician settlement, well knowing that the famed Charioteer sculpture is presently on exhibit in Cleveland. That exhibit, Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome received rave reviews following some controversy getting it mounted. From Cleveland, in January it will travel to Palermo. Prof. Marconi contributed scholarship and editing to the accompanying catalog/book: Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome with by Claire L. Lyons and Michael Bennett. It is a singularly stunning overview of Greek history in Sicily during the time between 480 and 212 BC, described in essays by the most distinguished scholars in their fields of study. The photos are rich and beautiful; the art is spectacular, as much in its sophisticated rendering and degree of preservation as in its exquisiteness.

I salute the dedication and work of the people who help us understand from where we have evolved while enabling us to marvel at the abilities, ingenuity, style and priorities of past societies.  This book has been added to my library. It is a wonderful source book for information and every page turn is filled with a treat for the eyes. It is available online, if you can’t make it to the exhibit.

From Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome

“For writers, artists and travelers, Sicily has long been a mirror of Greece, a storied landscape of mythic and pastoral images evoked by the poets Homer and Theokritos. Cicero praised Syrakousai and Akragas as foremost in wealth and beauty, finding there the essence of Hellenism that his fellow Romans admired. Nearly two millennia later, nostalgia for antiquity seized Goethe during his journey around the island; deeply affected by its ancient artistic heritage, he commented how even its coins – “an eternal spring of art’s immortal fruits and flowers, telling of craftsmanship perfected and practiced over a lifetime” –had given him hope of a new life.”

Timothy Potts and David Franklin, Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome. Ed. Claire L. Lyons, Michael Bennett and Clemente Marconi, Getty Publications, 2013

Event Photos

Selinunte

Selinunte

Selinunte on the sea.

Selinunte on the sea.

Close-up of colummns at Selinunte.

Close-up of colummns at Selinunte.

New York Choral Society, Sicily Tour 2012

Sicily, Italy

June 27 - July 8, 2012

The 12 day Sicily Tour of The New York Choral Society was without a doubt, exceptional. Full of fun and rewarding performances, the group rated this one a top trip.

Cefalù was the first stop for the 120 person group and a wonderful introduction to the charms of Sicily. The beautiful beach and crystal clear water, narrow streets, and hospitality aplenty, was the perfect backdrop for the chorus in its first concert. On the Piazza Duomo, a huge and enthusiastic audience attended, and feted the group afterward, including many from neighboring Sant’Ambrogio. The chorus had spent a uniquely memorable evening there previous night, arranged together with Carmelina Ricciardello, the lovely mother hen of that small village.

The days were filled with a great variety of sightseeing, lots of fabulous food and wine, and a little down time for relaxing and catching up with friends.

Leaving Cefalù and en route to Catania, the second concert took the chorus to Montalbano Elicona, a Medieval town of some 2500 people, perched atop a mountain overlooking land and sea. It earns its designation as one of the prettiest places in Italy. The Basilica, complete with a 4000 pipe organ, was the setting for the second concert and the resonating sound was completely different from the previous outdoor Piazza. The townspeople were so welcoming and following the concert entertained the chorus with traditional Sicilian music.

After the walking tour on the first day in Catania, the NYCS sang its third concert in the Cortile Platamone, the courtyard of a Norman palazzo, now a cultural arts center. Under the stars and stage lights, the music swirleded and the evening ended with a standing ovation.

With that, concert dress was put away and the group spent the rest of its time experiencing architecture, history, tradition and nature. At an engaging and fun wine tasting, the happy chorus once again broke into song, delighting the workers and vineyard family. From climbing Etna to eating cannolis, to seeing Siracusa like the Greeks first saw it, the days were packed with the fabulous things Sicily has to offer. And her list of admirers continues to grow.

Event testimonials

“I am so grateful to Karen for making this trip so memorable. It was a fantastic experience, thanks to her and the arrangements she made. Every day was a new adventure and something worth seeing. Without her expertise, this trip wouldn’t have been so special. Karen was flexible and handled everything, always with style, patience and calm. Everyone with whom I spoke had the same words of praise for Karen.”

Judy R.

“Thank you for one of the finest European experiences we have ever had.”

Steve W.

Event Photos

The New York Choral Society singing for a very appreciative audience in Cefalù.

Entertainment at the gala dinner by the marvelous folk group Sikilia.

The gala dinner at the beautiful Palazzo Toscana.


Sicilia Bedda!

Westchester Italian Cultural Center

One Generoso Pope Place

Tuckahoe, NY 10707

Fall 2010

Discover some of Sicily’s unique traditions through costumes, fine art, photography, ceramics, Sicilia Mia Bedda book, and a delightful display of life size marionettes, organized by the Westchester Italian Cultural Center and collaborating with La RosaWorks. This multimedia experience includes a video on Sicily and it’s rich history, Joe Genova’s paintings and a unique collection of photographs from Joe Zarba, Karen La Rosa, Noel DeGaetano, Mimmo Pintacuda, Ferdinando Scianna and Giuseppe Tornatore.

Event testimonials

“Hi Karen,
I have to thank you for all your support, help and understanding. We had a great turn out last night. The booklet is fantastic; such a great addition to our exhibit and everybody loves it!! I tried the video and it is great! I load it on the totem pole and I will play it before every program. I am also going to add it in the Catalog. The best part is to listen to the people that come to visit the exhibit. Everybody in a different way has something to share; they look at every single photograph and recall places and time past. The costumes, the ceramics, and the arts make them so proud of their land, history and culture. Davvero un’esperienza emozionante! It took a lot of work but I am very happy with the result.

Grazie mille e saluti!”

Patrizia Calce, Program Administrator
Westchester Italian Cultural Center

Event Photos

Exhibit area displaying vintage Sicilian photos, ceramics and puppets.

An exhibit area in the Westchester Italian Cultural Center with photos, ceramics and puppets visible.

Sicilian ceramic candle holder in the shape of a fish.

The whimsy and beauty of Sicilian ceramics is evident here in this Fish Candle from Alessi of Caltagirone. Exhibit ceramics courtesy The Pottery Co.

The “Real” Little Italy Joins The Celebration of Sicilian Culture

The Belmont Business Improvement District

The Enrico Fermi Cultural Center/Belmont Public Library

Fall 2010 - Winter 2011

Sicily’s ancient ruins, fascinating history, and diverse influences make this region truly unique. Program collaborator, Karen La Rosa of La RosaWorks explains: “The island’s rich culture is receiving more recognition than ever before. It is a pleasure to focus on Sicily as a theme, especially during the Italian Heritage Month of October. Belmont is close to Tuckahoe and this is a great way to inform people about the good works and often, similar goals of both organizations.

Frank Franz, the Chairman of the Belmont Business Improvement District noted: “A famous Sicilian proverb says ‘Start eating and you’ll develop an appetite.’ We want people to take that to heart and enjoy dining in Belmont at restaurants that have committed to highlight Sicilian food and wine on their menus this fall.” The Belmont Business Improvement District will also work with La RosaWorks and the local Enrico Fermi Library to host a satellite exhibit of ceramics, photography and books. The publication Sicilia Mia Bedda is a gift to all guests at the participating restaurants and the exhibit.

Event testimonials

“Thanks a million for the informative books - ‘Sicilia Mia Bedda.’ They are fantastic. I learned so much from the Sicilian Meet-Up group and in particular, you. Thank you for sharing your information.”

“Grazie mille per i libri informativi di ‘Sicilia Mia Bedda.’ Sono fantastici! Li ho condivisi con alcuni amici. Ho imparato cosi tanto dal gruppo siciliano di meetup e, in particolare, da te. Grazie ancora per condividere le tue informazioni.”

C. Hammond

Event Photos

Sicilian books, photos & artifacts courtesy Karen La Rosa.

One view of the exhibit mounted at The Enrico Fermi Cultural Center near Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.

The Enrico Fermi Cultural Center collection consists of materials in Italian including newspapers, books, videos, and audiobooks. The collection also includes information about the Italian American experience.

An Evening In Sicily In Manhattan

Meridiana Restaurant

2756 Broadway

New York, NY 10025

April, 2010

La RosaWorks and Meridiana Restaurant host an evening of Sicilian food, drink & culture

Event highlights:

  • Dinner with wines and a tasting of new products from Prutch Family Imports
  • Introducing a new Marsala wine cocktail named “The Wilson”
  • Traditional Sicilian music by recording artist Michela Musolino
  • Reading by celebrated author Gioia Timpanelli
  • Commentary about the Sicilian Language by cookbook author Giovanna Bellia La Marca
  • Video & photography exhibit by Karen La Rosa
  • Raffle for a stay at Case Del Golfo Vacation Properties in Balestrate, Sicily
  • Gift bags for all attendees

Event testimonials

“The event was really wonderful and I definitely got into the Sicilian spirit. The food was delicious, the music was beautiful and the reading was so well done - thank you again for including me in the evening.

I look forward to seeing you again soon and to working together again in the future”

Jill E. Sherter
Director of Advertising & Marketing
La Cucina Italiana Magazine

“Thank you for having planned such a wonderful evening of delicious food, wonderful entertainment, music, and spirited conversation.”

Giovanna Bellia La Marca, Author
Language and Travel Guide to Sicily
(Hippocrene Books, 2009)
Sicilian Feasts
(Hippocrene Books, 2004)

“Thank you so much for putting together a spectacular evening at Meridiana Restaurant. The event was “Top Shelf” and your organizational skills were impressive.”

J. Polcari

“It’s always delightful to collaborate with Karen LaRosa and LaRosaWorks. Each event Karen LaRosa coordinates is organized precisely, executed flawlessly and unfolds with the grace, beauty and vibrancy that only an artist such as Karen could capture and make manifest. Karen’s professionalism and creativity are matched only by her love and passion for Sicily and it’s culture. It’s that love and passion for Sicily which makes all LaRosa Works' events stand far and above all others.”

Michela Musolino, Recording Artist

Event Video & Photos

Michela Musolino sings Bafiota at Meridiana in NYC for ‘An Evening in Sicily in Manhattan.’

Renowned author Gioia Timpanelli regaled the audience with evocative stories and read from her book “What Makes a Child Lucky.”

Communal tables with enthusiastic guests as they begin sampling Sicilian wine and products and choosing from a delicious Sicilian menu.

Events & Announcements

 
 
MOUNT ETNA: ANOTHER UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE FOR SICILY.
June 2013

(This article was written by Karen La Rosa and was shared with the website of Fonderia USA)

Mount Etna, in the northeastern part of Sicily, has just been granted world heritage status by the UNESCO committee, that held its meeting in Cambodia this month. UNESCO, United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, gives its highly prized designation and financial support to places of exemplary scientific, cultural, historical and global significance. Unesco compiled its first list in 1978. In 2013, there are 964 listed sites. They are divided into cultural, natural and historic properties. Italy, with 48 sites, has among the most sites in the world, with China and Spain right behind it. The island of Sicily, with its remarkable treasures, boasts 6 sites, with Mt. Etna the most recent.

In Italy, Mount Etna is also known as Mongibello; ‘mons’ from the Latin for mountain and ‘gebe’ from the Arabic for mountain. In Sicilian, it is Muncibeddu. The word ‘Etna’ means to burn in the ancient Phoenician language. Etna is 3 times the size of Vesuvius but half its age at only 500,000 years old, but it is Europe's most active volcano, puffing constantly and erupting spectacularly on occasion, sending ash into the sky and closing down the airport. It has enriched tremendously the science of volcanology and geology with its 2700 year history of activity, written and oral.

It has altered history with its, sometimes, violent eruptions and been the catalyst for great cultural change, including architecture and urban planning. In 1669, an exceptionally long and devastating eruption that covered the city of Catania, caused the1693 major earthquake that destroyed about forty towns and buried close to 100,000 people under the debris. The resulting efforts to rebuild gave yet us another UNESCO site (designated in 2002), the Val di Noto. The group of 8 majorly affected towns in this valley, (Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli), were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake. They represent an enormous collective undertaking, and a very successful one, as the high level of architectural and artistic achievement will testify. The fanciful and ornate elements are impressive and such a delight to see.

There are 4 open craters at the summit, but hundreds of side craters that can be approached from the south or north. The slopes up to 2000 meters reveal ancient lava flows, caves, craters, and lava shafts. Color, size and the degree of regrowth date the lava. Above 2000 meters it becomes like a moonscape of lava. You can see some of the older, inactive craters just by driving by or walking at elevation. Since Etna is still active, care is required. It emits steam constantly and erupts not infrequently. Ash fills the sky. It can rain small bits of lava, sometimes for miles and sometimes halting air traffic into Catania. The ash is not a surprise, but the accompanying boom can be startling. This hulking beast is both feared and revered in Sicily. Why revered? Because Etna gives Sicily some of its most fertile, mineral rich, arable, land. The wines, fruit and vegetables from Etna are unique in taste and highly valued. Beauty? With the sea as her right hand rival, Etna looms large and it’s hard to take your eyes off of her in, in the morning or setting sunlight.


Last updated: July 1, 2013
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It's like SICILY in NEW YORK!
March, 2013

For the entire month of March, Chef Giuseppe Nicolosi of NICA Trattoria, is offering an extensive menu of dishes from his native island Sicily. There is an impressive range of appetizers from fave beans to eggplant, many pastas, fish and meat, that include rabbit, goat, lamb, calamari, tuna mussels and sardines. On the wine list there is Nero D'Avola and wine made at Azienda Benanti on the slopes of Mount Etna. Giuseppe's oversized, warm and fun personality is the icing on the Cassata. Head to NICA Trattoria and feel transported for an evening. 354 East 84th Street. Call ahead for reservations. 212.472.5040.

Last updated: March 13, 2013
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New York Meets Sant'Ambrogio, Sicily
June 29, 2012

Written by Carmelina Ricciardello
Sant'Ambrogio, Sicily

For quite some time the Pro-Loco (local tourist office) and I had been organising the arrival of the New York Choral Society in Sant’Ambrogio, Sicily, where they were going on tour at the end of June. Karen, who is also part of the choir and with a Sicilian family background too, had contacted me about 18 months ago with a view to setting up something in the village. As I was taking Karen around the area, we came up with the idea of holding a party – Una Festa del Paese. What we didn’t know then was that Italy would be playing in the semi-final of the European Cup on the same day!
The villagers set about bedecking the village with plants and flags. All along the one main street that winds through the village various households brought out tables and their fine linen tablecloths and each family prepared something different to serve up to the American guests. That way, they could walk through the village tasting things from all the tables.
The actual choir numbered just over 70 people. With their friends and family members and somebody who introduced herself as a groupie (but not of the 60s kind, she said!!) there were around 123 altogether.
The only access road was closed off where the coaches could drop them off and then it was a short walk into the village and the belvedere with that ‘to die for’ view over towards the Rock of Cefalù. 
A little bit further on in the village square, chairs had been placed all around and just off to the side a huge widescreen had been rigged. In case anyone had forgotten, tonight was the semi-final of the European Football Cup and although not everyone would be glued to the screen, it was there just in case! As it turned out Italy won the match so there was a bit of excitement among the local lads which spread through the party guests too, making things even more fun.

The needlework ladies had laid out on display their delicate hand embroidered sheets, towels and tablecloths which are becoming a rarity today as the young generation of girls prefer technology to sewing so not many of them really want to follow that tradition anymore. Such a shame as nothing in this village is made in China - - yet!
A few speeches were made in the square and then the serious business of making music started. The local minstrels played Sicilian music with songs on their instruments and got everyone to join in. Then to say thank you to the village, the NYC choir sang to them too.
 Everybody went home with big smiles on their faces and a bag full of magic memories of village life to take back to the city with them. 
But,of course, things didn’t finish there! The next night the Choir was performing in the magnificent cathedral square in Cefalù.

Last updated: August 21, 2012
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Ciclismo Classico: Bonus for LaRosaWorks readers
Ongoing

If you love biking and want to explore Sicily by bike, a trip you will always remember, take advantage of Ciclismo Classico’s discount
offered to our readers through this site. Get a $100 discount when you call and mention La RosaWorks! 1-800-866-7314

This established and highly respected team, nominated for best tour operator in the world, has many tours for varying skill levels and interests. The guides are wonderful and the planning impeccable. I have personally ridden Piedmont and Sicily, both with non-experienced riders and experienced riders. All agree that the trips were fantastic.

Last updated: August 20, 2012
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Barbara Conelli's Chique Talk Radio Show
February 18, 2012

"Thank you very much for being such a fantastic guest on Chique Show. Our
show has been featured on Blog Talk Radio for a week, and it's very popular!
I had so much fun talking to you about Sicily."
Barbara Conelli

February 18, 2012: Tune in to listen to the interview or hear it in the archives later. The website is barbaraconelli.com. Barbara is a best selling author and passionate about Italy. She loves Sicily and wants people to learn more about the beautiful island. I will speak about my favorite things and my impressions of the people, the land, the food and wine. Come join us.

Last updated: February 26, 2012
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Ciao Italia Radio
April 2, 2011

The mellifluous voice of Elio Scaccio hosts Ciao Italia Radio on Saturdays from 3:00 - 4:00. The show promotes cultural awareness and celebrates heritage. Elio, a tenor with his own musical career in place, invited me on the show to talk about Sicily and the goals and aims of this new website. I will next be on the show in June. You can listen live on www.WCBM.com. We will use these opportunities to introduce Sicilian music and speak about things cultural and noteworthy. On Saturday Elio featured the music of Malanova, new music written in traditional form from this wonderful group out of Messina. I am looking forward to this relationship and sharing many things with listeners.

Last updated: April 4, 2011
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