Adam Foulds’s last novel, The Quickening Maze, was a truly superb study in madness and early psychiatric methods, combining the intellectual and the visceral in often startling ways (few will forget his description of the “dismantling” of a deer). In this latest work, he retains that powerful blend and focuses on another kind of madness: the madness of war.
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Friday 27 August 2010
Luchino Visconti's 1963 epic considers the coming of revolution in 1860s Sicily, not from the point of view of Garibaldi and the forces of democracy but of a Prince (Burt Lancaster), "Il Gattopardo", a proud man struggling to maintain the authority of his class.
Saturday 21 August 2010
Friday 23 July 2010
Fans of Cinema Paradiso know what to expect from Giuseppe Tornatore: lovingly evoked scenes of an Italian childhood, domestic intimacy, classroom horseplay, public eccentricity and the early movie-house.
Saturday 10 July 2010
Friday 28 May 2010
Saturday 08 May 2010
Italy, Metternich said, was "only a geographical expression", but 150 years ago the greatest revolutionary the peninsula ever produced set about proving him wrong.
Saturday 01 May 2010
A sprightly, miniature blue bird flits across the area around a cool, clear swimming pool. To one side, a lizard crawls into a small alcove beneath a stone wall that meanders across a verdant lawn. An orange grove wafts its citrus smell across the surrounding countryside, which basks in the shadow of Mount Etna, just visible through a distant haze.
Saturday 27 March 2010
Thursday 18 February 2010
The keys of the Sicilian villa where the notorious Mafia godfather Toto "the Beast" Riina spent his final months as a fugitive have been handed over to the local branch of the Italian journalists' guild, several of whose members died under his bloody rein.
Wednesday 28 October 2009
Saturday 03 October 2009
Rivers of mud unleashed by heavy rains overnight flooded parts of the Sicilian city of Messina, leaving at least 20 people dead yesterday while sweeping away cars, collapsing buildings and driving hundreds of people out of their homes.
Saturday 08 August 2009
The sounds of the Sicilian countryside wake me up early: the whine of electric chainsaws, and the screech of ancient Fiats taking the turn at the end of the road at hair-raising speeds. Our little house is buried deep in groves of hazelnut trees in a remote valley in the Nebrodi mountains, and it's harvest time. The ground between the trees is covered in luscious brown nuts, and we'll be collecting a bucketful later to entertain our toddler. Before he wakes up, I head out to the balcony to snatch 10 minutes with my hero, Commissario Montalbano, the Sicilian detective created by Andrea Camilleri, who is unravelling another mystery in Excursion to Tindari.
Wednesday 05 August 2009
The eye-popping €116m (£99m) up for grabs in Italy's record lottery this week would be enough to change the lives of an entire community. And that's exactly what the mayor of the impoverished Sicilian village of Ficarra had in mind when he ordered that €115 be docked from the wages of each council member to buy extra tickets for the SuperEnalotto.
Sunday 02 August 2009
Having been completely captured by Sicily myself when I travelled there two years ago, I can quite understand Matthew Fort's enthusiasm to get back to the island after a first visit 30 years previously. Because, as he points out in this wonderful travel tale interspersed with mouth-watering recipes, there is something not quite real about Sicily that is endlessly fascinating.
Saturday 25 July 2009
Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a week self-catering in Sicily, departing on 12 September; prices are for two people travelling together.
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