Sicily Today.net is a unique online newsletter about current events in Sicily and about the people and institutions throughout the world that study, do business with, and have an interest in learning more about Sicily.
Known for its rich history and culture, Sicily has played a pivotal role in western civilization dating back to ancient Greece and Rome. Now a breathtakingly beautiful and often controversial part of Italy, Sicily and its people, politics and culture offer a unique lens on the current state of affairs in Italy, Europe and the West.
Sicily Today.net is the only English-language publication devoted exclusively to bringing you information about what’s happening in Sicily on a week-to-week and even day-to-day basis.
Who are the people who run Sicily through its regional, provincial, and municipal government institutions? How is Sicily doing economically, compared to Italy as a whole? And how are the Sicilian people doing today, compared to the not so distant past, when an enormous number of Sicilians were forced to emigrate to America and elsewhere due to economic hardship?
Stories your hometown newspaper doesn’t cover
Unless you’re able to read the Italian-language press, you may be missing out on many of the interesting developments in Sicily that you won’t find in the U.S. and other English-language news media.
Here are just a few of the topics Sicily Today.net will cover in the coming months:
-Italy’s former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, strongly supported the longstanding and controversial project to build the world’s longest suspension bridge connecting Sicily to mainland Italy. Berlusconi's predecessor, former Prime Minister Romano Prodi and and many of his allies in the Italian Parliament continue to oppose the project, saying it's too expensive and harmful to the environment. Will it ever get built?
-Hardly a week goes by without the landing by the dozens of immigrant boat people from North Africa to Sicily’s shores. Many travel in unsafe vessels run by criminal gangs, desperate to gain access to a better life in Western Europe and choose Sicily as their gateway. Sicilian fishing boats and Italian naval ships constantly carry out heroic rescue missions on the high seas to save the lives of many of these boat people, known as “clandestini.” Is Sicily becoming one of Europe’s repositories for refugees?
-The year 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of the devastating 1968 earthquake in Western Sicily’s Belice Valley region, which claimed the lives of more than 500 people and left thousands homeless. In what turned out to be an extraordinary social experiment, Europe’s best and brightest architects and urban planners helped rebuild the centuries-old town of Gibellina in a new location using contemporary designs. Critics compare their creation of New Gibellina to a Frankenstein monster. Is there a lesson that Sicily’s Gibellina can offer New Orleans in its struggle to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Katrina?
-Nearly 4,000 U.S. military service members are stationed in Sicily at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Sigonella near the city of Catania. What is their mission, how are they getting along in Sicily, and what do the Sicilians think of them?
-American archaeologists and art historians are playing a leading role, along with Italians, in unearthing exciting new finds among Sicily’s ancient ruins that few people know about outside the close-knit circle of university researchers. At the same time, Sicilians living in the towns and cities surrounding the famous Greek temples and ancient Roman villas that attract tourists from throughout the world have largely succeeded in pressuring New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and California’s J. Paul Getty Museum to return precious artifacts that the Sicilians say have been stolen from their homeland. What’s going on in Sicily’s archaeology beat?
-Sicily’s voters historically have supported Italy’s more conservative, center-right political parties. Up until Italy's 2012 national election, former Prime Minister Silvio Burlesconi’s center-right coalition won the Sicilian vote several times by a wide margin. Yet, in 2007 the industrial city of Gela re-elected an openly gay mayor, Rosario Crocetta. In the 2012 Sicilian regional election, Crocetta won election as governor of all of Sicily. How did that happen?
-What about the Mafia? It may be less powerful these days than its organized crime counterparts in Russia, Colombia, and Mexico, according to some experts. But according to Italian government authorities, the Mafia continues to have a presence in Sicily and Italy in the early 21st century, and the government and a corps of courageous citizen activists continue their fight to eradicate it. SicilyToday.net will cover organized crime related developments as they occur, treating the subject as one part of the complex, multifaceted mosaic that makes up Sicily.
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