Entries by Denise De Marco

Sicilian Marionettes

Located on the outskirts of Partinico, Palermo, Sicily, you will find la Real Cantina Borbonica an extraordinary building commissioned in 1800 as a winery by Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies. Today the building is primarily used as a museum of historical, cultural and agricultural traditions, and for special events, like weddings, concerts and banquets. It’s […]

Sicilian Dreams

There are very few people living today who were part of the wave of migration from Sicily to America between the years 1900 – 1920’s. Research shows approximately 75% of Sicilian men who came for work in America never planned to stay permanently. They were nicknamed “Birds of Passage.” Sicilians who did settle left EVERYTHING […]


Congratulations Palermo, Sicily on being chosen the 2018 Cultural Italian City! Palermo was the perfect choice because it is one of Italy’s most vibrant and eclectic cities. Sicily is strategically located in the Mediterranean and Palermo’s amazing location along the northwestern coast encircled by mountains lured multiple conquerors, including the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish […]

The Babe of Bethlehem: A Sicilian Christmas Tradition

As we approach Advent and the Christmas season, many Americans begin their annual ritual of dragging out boxes of holiday decorations. One cannot experience this customary process without recalling memories of past festivities with family and friends. My family follows typical American Christmas traditions with a twist of Italian/Sicilian customs. The focus is food, faith, […]

Full Family Circle

My genealogy interest began in the 1980’s. Researching my mother’s English ancestors seemed like a piece of cake compared to researching my father’s Sicilian roots. For many years I was at a dead end until the fall of 2014 when I visited Palermo, Sicily and worked with a local research guide. We were blessed to […]

Sicilian Heart and Soul

Yes, a Sicilian father is the head and protector of the family, but it’s the mother who is the heart and soul of the home. If you’ve ever doubted the great importance a mother holds in a family one only needs to contemplate the Italian proverb “If the father should die, the family would suffer; […]

What’s so good about Good Friday?

Christians throughout the world are honoring Good Friday, one of the holiest days of the year leading up to Easter Sunday. In Italian, Good Friday is translated as Venerdì Santo or Sacred Friday and throughout Sicily there are dramatic processions reenacting his passion, death and resurrection. Worldwide there will be passion plays and Easter pageants, […]