Sicilia: Nel Cuore - Into the Heartland

Watch this page for updates as I travel across the ancient island of my ancestors - Sicily - for three weeks this April and May, camera and maps in hand. I've laid out an ambitious itinerary, laden with a combination of photo journalism projects known and unknown, what promises to be a wonderful family vacation in Catania and Siracusa with my wife and her family, and then a week delving into wine known and ancestors unknown in the center of the island.

 I don't want to give away too much yet, but the general plan looks like this: Palermo, Enna, Corleone, Palermo, Catania, Siracusa, Vittoria, Pietraperzia.

The island is ancient, with millennia of civilizations conquering the island and leaving traces of their touch, much of which exists today both as archaeological remnants and active cultural touch points. Sicily has a violent history as conquerors came and went throughout the ages with the intent of either subduing its people or using it as a crossing point to further their aims of acquiring or vanquishing their foes.  And its people rose, at times, with equal force and violence to reacquire or retain its right to independence, and that voice still exists today. But it has a beautiful history and culture today with its vineyards and olive groves, an active agriturismo industry and active artisan community. It is all of this I intend to search for and document. And I hope to gain a bit deeper of an understanding of my own connection to it all. A portion of this trip will be with mio fratello Frank as we journey to where our grandparents came from, the very center of the island - Pietraperzia - in the 1920s. And who knows, maybe we can persuade one or two of our traveling companions to be a guest blogger along the way...