This painting is called “The Vucciria” and is by Renato Guttuso. The original – which is absolutely huge – hangs in Palazzo Steri in Palermo – at various times the former seat of the Spanish Inquisition, palace, Moorish pottery factory, community food storage warehouse, government office and prison. It was painted in 1974 and Palermo University had … More The Vucciria by Renato Guttuso
We are all used to buying imported and exotic foods in our local supermarket these days, and seeing Jamie Oliver on TV wagging spaghetti about and telling us to grow “some lavly fresh basil” on our windowsills. Jamie has become the global marketing manager for Italian food these days. But how would you market … More Q: Who promoted Italian food before Jamie Oliver? A: Renato Guttuso!
In Castel di Tusa, you can sleep in it, sit on it, eat off it and even take a pee in it. Seriously. In the old days, art was mainly a way of preserving moments in time and, especially, commemorating or glorifying certain people for posterity. Nowadays we have photography and the Internet for that, so … More What’s the Use of Modern Art?
Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery made in dazzling colours. New methods for making varied colours of glazes were initially brought to Sicily by the Arabs of North Africa in medieval times, and the art of making Maiolica then spread from Sicily throughout Italy during the Renaissance. Nowadays the art has shrunk back down again and … More Sicilian Maiolica Ceramics from Caltagirone and Taormina
Just outside Palermo, in the charming little town of Monreale, lies possibly the most beautiful – and certainly the most exotic – cathedral in Europe. Monreale Cathedral was built by King William II of Sicily in 1174. The architecture is Moorish Arabic, the interior is late Byzantine, and the layout is a fusion of Catholic … More The Arabic Cathedral of Monreale
We have a very bizarre tourist attraction in our town. Villa Palagonia has been nicknamed the Villa of the Monsters locally for centuries. It is absolutely crammed with caricature stone sculptures of bizarre creatures, deformed little men, goblins, and ugly hybrid “manimals”. It was visited in the 18th century by multi-talented German writer, politician, lawyer and … More The Villa of the Monsters in Bagheria