Sicilian Love: the leopard and his mum

Giuseppe Tomasi, Prince of Lampedusa, loves his mum. When she says ‘come’, he comes, when she says ‘go’, he goes. Unfortunately, in 1931, Giuseppe falls in love with another woman. Now when his mum wants him to stay in Palermo and he want to meet his secret crush in Rome, he asks a friend to…

Sicilian Love: 24 shirts, 24 bedsheets

Rosa Balistreri’s life hangs on 24 shirts, 24 bedsheets and 24 underpants: the wedding trousseau that she hasn’t got. Aunt Mariannina demands it, if Rosa is to marry her son, cousin Angilino. Sixteen-year-old Rosa loves him and he loves her too. His love is so sincere that, when she offers herself to him one night,…

Sicilian Love: the madness of the writer’s wife

If your dad wants you to marry his business partner’s child, you do it. That’s how it works in Sicily in 1894. Luckily, Maria Antonietta Portulano and Luigi Pirandello like each other. Good for them. Alright, there is an intellectual ocean between the Sicilian novelist and playwright and his wife, but they are definitely on…

Sicilian Love: the countess goes to court

When Countess Giulia Trigona went to court, she meant to break up only with her husband, not with her lover too. Breaking up with her lover was actually a damn good idea. Pity it came a bit too late. The extramarital affair of Countess Trigona and Baron Paternò had been an all-consuming whirlwind, witnessed by…

Sicilian Love: the viceroy’s wife enormous horns

‘Be patient. Tonight is cold and I want my husband with me,’ Donna Felice says to Eufrosina, who’s hiding half-naked in the balcony. Donna Felice knows that her husband has an long-running affair with the twenty-year-old baroness – everyone else in Palermo knows too – but tonight she wants her husband with her. Power, money,…

Sicilian Love: the tragic story of the Baroness of Carini

Laura Lanza was born on 7th October 1529. This was her first mistake. Her second mistake was to be the daughter of Cesare Lanza, an arrogant and violent Sicilian aristocrat who was used to always getting things his way. Her third mistake was falling in love with Ludovico Vernagallo instead of Ludovico’s cousin, Vincenzo La…