November 2 is a special day in Sicily. The Day of the Dead is considered an important festival, when children receive gifts from the dead and eat special bone-shaped cakes. Cemeteries are overcrowded with people walking in the avenues, placing flowers at gravesites, and lighting candles in their tombs. Many Sicilian tombs look like small houses: They contain a room, an altar, and marble-walled niches.


Mario Chiaramonte goes to the cemetery on this day. Besides visiting the tombs of his relatives and friends, he strolls throughout the graveyard. On his walk, he stumbles on some special tombs. A few have an epitaph carved on the tombstone or above the altar.

The tombs he visits house the bodies of a Mafia boss, a literary man, a poet, a nobleman, and more. Mario recalls the salient moments of their lives, and at the same time sees himself from a different detached perspective.

Romance, adventure, life, death, the Mafia, good and evil, racism, and impermanence are themes throughout the novel. November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily by Ettore Grillo is thought provoking and captivating from beginning to end.


The Vibrations of Words is the second book I have written.

The novel is set in Sicily, India, and Israel.

I learned the power of the vibrations of words while visiting Israel. My teacher was a young man I met by chance near the Sea of Galilee. He said that words vibrate according to the quality of speech. Good words produce good vibrations, while bad words, like malicious gossip and slander create bad vibrations. Of course, good or bad vibrations as well as good or bad music affect our lives. Bad words pollute the air and create mental diseases in the person the utters them.

In India, I deepened this topic by studying mantras and traditional musical instruments.

Learning about the vibrations of words changed my life. I strongly recommend it.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind


Travels of the Mind is set in the lounge of a club of noblemen, in a small Sicilian city. It is the first book I have written. This is the second edition.

A few members of the club of the noblemen, sitting in the lounge, tell each other their travel stories. They also discuss topics related to their travels, like love, understanding the mind, afterlife, and so on.

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Besides being a travel guide, it is also a self-help book. The main character in the novel got over his anxiety and panic attacks thanks to the help of people he met during his travels. One of these is a mystic woman, named Natuzza Evolo, who lived in Calabria, a region near Sicily.

The book tells real travels to Tanzania, Tokyo, London, New York, etcetera. Overall, it is enjoyable and easy to read.


A Hidden Sicilian History is a historical novel based on an old manuscript which was found in the city library of Enna, Sicily.

In the second edition, I have improved the style and added a few details about Sicilian culture and Marian Sanctuaries.

The Sicilian proverbs and prayers are written not only in English but also in the Sicilian language.

The background of the book is Sicily and other countries: India, France, Portugal, Belgium, Russia, Australia, and Mexico.

Vincenzino, the main character in the novel, travels across the world to find an answer to the eternal human question: is there life after death? In the end, he will find a way out of his dilemma.

A Hidden Sicilian History will give the reader useful information about traditional processions, prayers to remove roundworms and hexes, life in the sulfur mines and in the public whorehouse, and so on.

I am sure you will enjoy this book.


Equinox and solstice come from the Latin words aequinoctium and solstitium. Since time immemorial, people have celebrated solstices and equinoxes. The winter solstice is related to Jesus’s birth, the summer solstice is related to St. John the Baptist’s birth. They were second cousins. The former was the son of Mary and the latter the son of her cousin Elisabeth. The birth of John the Baptist preceded that of Jesus by six months. On the summer solstice, herbs have a special energy. There are many practices related to the magic night of St. John. On that day people start bonfires, which are the symbol of purification, and pluck special herbs, above all, the hypericum also called Saint-John’s-wort.

In Sicily, it was believed that on the eve of Saint John’s day it was possible to make predictions about the future.  Girls of marriageable age performed some rituals to get to know the man they would marry and his job.

One of the rituals was the following:

The evening before the night of Saint John, they took three broad beans. They then peeled one, left another intact, and peeled only half of the third broad bean. Before going to sleep, they put the three broad beans under their pillows. The morning after, as soon as they woke up, they took out one of the broad beans under their pillows at random. If it was the peeled one, they would marry a poor man; if it was the one half-peeled, their marriage would be so-so; finally, if it was the unpeeled broad bean, they would have a happy marriage!

Do girls perform such rituals these days? I don’t think so. Perhaps, even marriage has become an obsolete institution!

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind