SICILY, ITALY, AND THE WORLD

If someone asked me today, “Since you were born in Sicily, do you feel more Italian or more Sicilian?” I would reply, “My country is the world. My hometown is the place where I am at the moment. In other words, if I am in New York, my hometown is New York, if I am in Moscow, my hometown is Moscow, if I am in Addis Ababa, my hometown is Addis Ababa, if I am in Seoul my hometown is Seoul, and so on.”

“How about human races?” he would ask.

I would answer,” There is an invisible thread on Earth that links all people who have the same spiritual feelings, regardless of their race or skin color. They belong to the same spiritual race. The real races are not physical but spiritual, and you can feel it clearly whenever you have the chance to come across someone with similar feelings and nature.”

“You are just a dreamer!” he would say.

I would reply, “If you keep dreaming, sooner or later your dreams will come true.”

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

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

NAPOLEONE COLAJANNI, A GREAT SICILIAN

Today, walking through the alleys of Enna, I came across the birthplace of Napoleone Colajanni.He was born in Enna on 27 April 1847 and died in Enna on 2 September 1921.

Napoleone Colajanni was a clear example of an honest and incorruptible politician. After he was elected to the parliament of the Kingdom of Italy, he unmasked the scandal of the Banca Romana which minted banknotes illegally. The scandal also involved members of the government. Following the precise denunciation of corruption by Napoleone Colajanni, the government was forced to resign. This great son of Enna was also a professor of statistics at the University of Palermo and an author of books on the Mafia and the problems of southern Italy.

I read a book written by him entitled Nel Regno della Mafia (In the Kingdom of the Mafia). It tells of Emanuele Notarbartolo, marquis of San Giovanni, an eminent nobleman who was stabbed to death while traveling by train in a tunnel on the Messina Palermo railway line. Strangely, he was killed a few days after he had accused the general manager of the Banco di Sicilia, one of the most important banks in Italy, of financial improprieties. The book by Napoleone Colajanni is one of the first on the issue of the Mafia. It denounces the collusion between magistrates, police, politicians, and mafiosi.

Even though I don’t like politicians much, I cannot exclude that there may be some politicians like Napoleone Colajanni who are honest and aim at the wellbeing of citizens.

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

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE ROLE OF SICILY IN UNIFYING ITALY

A marble tablet stands out on the facade of the historic Palazzo Varisano in my hometown of Enna, Sicily. On it are engraved the names of my fellow citizens who participated in the war for the unification of Italy.

To unify Italy it was necessary to topple the Bourbon kingdom which ruled over all of southern Italy. For this purpose, the patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi on May 5, 1860 set sail from Quarto, a town near Genoa, with two ships bound for Sicily, on board of which there were 1089 patriots.

During the crossing, arguments arose among the members of the expedition. The splinter group was disembarked in Talamone, a town in Tuscany. After that, only 752 patriots landed in Sicily.

Could seven hundred and fifty-two men, albeit valiant, ever defeat the mighty Bourbon army? Of course not!

When the two ships arrived in Sicily, immediately 10,000 young Sicilians joined Garibaldi and all together defeated the Bourbons.

This is the historical truth: without the contribution of the Sicilians, the unity of Italy would have been impossible.

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

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

LINDA’S REVIEW OF A HIDDEN SICILIAN HISTORY


A good book, like a good wine must offer some degree of complexity. A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo does just that. It is not at all what I expected. It is certainly not a history of the island.
We begin with the story of an old scroll found nestled in a volume of the Inquisition in a library in Enna, Sicily. The finder expects, as I did, that this will be a history of the island, possibly during the time of the Inquisition. As he translates it he finds the scroll instead to be a single fictional memoir of loss, doubt, and longing for truth.
The scroll becomes the vehicle for philosophical pondering about the meaning of life and what may lie beyond. The author of the scroll is an actor, Vincenzo. Through his musings the daily life in the 1930’s and historical events of the town of Enna become alive for the reader. Even small details regarding cures, strict customs and, of course, religious activities are included. Vincenzo becomes quite obsessed with the story of his uncle, also named Vincenzo, and feels a special bond with him, his namesake. He is determined to find information about his uncle’s mysterious death, a death no living relative would discuss. The fact that Vincenzo is introduced as an actor in a church play perhaps has bearing on his insecure identity and his personal spiritual challenges. Additionally, the fact that the scroll was found embedded in pages referring to the Inquisition dramatizes the book’s theme involving the impact of religion in our lives and our attitudes about our after-lives.
As we travel with Vincenzo in his quest for information about the demise of his uncle, we enter many pages of rather graphic sexual situations. This did take me by surprise but is appropriate considering the ultimate revelation of the cause of death. In his quest for universal truth the author touches on several world religions other than Christianity. This combination of real-life grit and philosophical wanderings into faith results in an interesting and unique and multi-layered read. The author is clearly highly educated and has a way with words that is both succinct and descriptive.

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE MAIN TEMPLE OF DEMETER IN SICILY

According to some, the main temple of Demeter in Sicily stood where the cathedral of Enna now stands. The construction of the Catholic temple was commissioned by Queen Eleonora d’Angiò at the beginning of the fourteenth century. She was a fervent Catholic and wanted to eradicate the cult of Demeter which was still alive in the hearts of the people of Enna.

In 1942, the king of Italy declared the cathedral of Enna a national monument and in 2008, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.

Since the building of the cathedral, the procession in honor of Demeter has been replaced by the one in honor of Our Lady, but basically nothing has changed. The devotion of the people of Enna towards Demeter is still unaltered; just the name of the deity has changed.

Today, the municipal band performed some musical pieces in front of the cathedral. However, the joy of the past years was missing. For the second consecutive year, the mother goddess Demeter could not be celebrated.

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

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

TRAVELS TO DEFEAT ANXIETY AND PANIC ATTACKS

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.

WIN 20210520 18 16 34 Pro – YouTube

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.

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

A HISTORICAL NOVEL ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE

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.

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

Historical Novel Travels Back to Sicily Through the Ages

Life and death pose a timeless mystery in the powerful fictional work A Hidden Sicilian History: Second Edition.

“Countless people over the years have wished to know their destiny and future. For that reason, there have been astrologers, magicians, wizards, and oracles to consult.” There have also been written histories to contemplate.

At the public library in Enna, Sicily, a young man notices an ancient scroll drift from a shelf to the floor. It appears to have slipped from between two volumes about the Spanish Inquisition.

Although he expects the scroll to be related to life in Sicily at the time of Spanish rule, instead it tells of a drama performed long ago at the deconsecrated Church of Santa Croce in Enna. It also hints of many other things.

The young man translates the lost manuscript into English and publishes it. Throughout its pages flow descriptions of traditional feasts, tips on how to remove hexes, and describes life in Enna’s public whorehouse. But one theme is common throughout: the yearning to understand the meaning of life.

When the Second World War was over, most women in Enna didn’t work outside the home … You saw ladies dressed in black in the streets … If a child had been lost, the woman dressed in black for five years. If a sibling had passed away, his or her sister dressed in black for three years. If the dead person was the husband, the widow dressed in black the rest of her life … As for men, the duration of mourning was much shorter than that of women. They usually wore black suits for a few days.

“This spellbinding story ponders the question: Is there life after death? The scroll found in the book spans many years of Sicilian history and cultural traditions, but the book is also a murder mystery,” said Lynn Eddy, VP of Acquisitions, Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Company.

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

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE RAPE OF KORE (PERSEPHONE)

bernini-statue-il-ratto-di-prosperina-rape-rome-italy-august-gian-lorenzo-masterpiece-dated-127740640

The temples of Demeter and Kore don’t exist anymore. In Enna, the cult of Mary replaced that of Demeter. I can take you to Lake Pergusa. It is not far from downtown Enna. According to myth, Ades, the god of the underworld, came out of one of the caves scattered in the woods which surrounded Lake Pergusa, with his chariot pulled by four black steeds. At the same time Kore was plucking flowers with her mother Demeter and some nymphs by the lakeside to weave them into garlands.

“To allure her, Ades disguised himself as a splendid narcissus. Kore was enchanted by the color and scent of that beautiful flower and walked away from her mother and the nymphs to pick it, but suddenly the narcissus turned into Ades who grabbed Kore, put her on his chariot, and abducted her. Then, Ades lashed his steeds which, as fast as the wind, immediately headed for his underground kingdom.

“Demeter was desperate. She looked for her daughter everywhere without avail. Then, she turned to Zeus, who knew where Kore was kept, but he seemed not to be incline to displease his brother Ades who had got a wife at long last. After Kore became Ades’s wife, she was given a new name, Persephone.

“Demeter was the goddess of agriculture and fertility. As an act of revenge against Zeus she made the vegetation on Earth wither. Things were getting complicated even for Zeus, the king of gods! But, Ades persisted in his refusal to give back Persephone to her mother. However, he couldn’t help complying with Zeus’s wishes, who wanted to break the deadlock between Ades and Demeter.

“Zeus suggested a solution acceptable to both parties. Persephone would stay for six months with her husband Ades in the underground and for six months with her mother Demeter on the earth’s surface. So it happened!

“The myth symbolizes the alternating of the seasons on Earth. In Autumn and Winter, when Persephone is in the underground, vegetation is lifeless, while in Spring and Summer, when Persephone stays with her mother Demeter, plants and trees are flourishing.”

This is an excerpt from November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

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
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

 

WALKING IN A SICILIAN CEMETERY AT NIGHT

sicilian-cemetery-graveyard-hill-pine-trees-under-blue-sky-enna-sicily-italy-162664325

It was midnight when we arrived at the hole in the cemetery fence near the graveyard of the poor. At that moment, four bluish lights hovered in the air over the graves. My hair stood on end. I was terrified. I thought I saw blue lights moving toward me, and then they went back to the starting point. They kept hovering over the graves for about two minutes until they vanished into thin air.

Luigi passed through the hole without caring about the lights, while I remained outside the cemetery. I felt petrified, as if those bluish lights had cast a spell on me. I couldn’t move. My legs quaked as if there were an earthquake under my feet.

“What are you doing? Why are you standing outside like a statue? Come in. Don’t be silly!” Luigi cried out to me.

“Didn’t you see those lights over the graveyard?” I asked in a trembling voice.

“Yes, I did. They are nothing more than will-o’-the-wisps. Did you think they were souls of the dead wandering in the cemetery?” Luigi replied, shaking with laughter.

“What does it mean, will-o’-the-wisps?”

“It means small flames kindled by gas emanating from bodies in an advanced state of decay. You’ll see this phenomenon only in the graveyard of the poor, because here the bodies are buried under the bare earth inside coffins that have not been sealed with zinc. So keep calm. Don’t worry. You won’t see blue lights beyond this area.”

Absolute silence and peace reigned in the town of the dead. Only feeble lights came out from the candles in the tombs. We walked under a sky dotted with stars. The Milky Way was visible. My grandmother called the Milky Way Saint James’s Stairway. According to her, the souls of the dead climbed up and down Saint James’s Stairway when they came to our planet, and then they left Earth, bound to faraway planets and stars.

Walking in the cemetery, I didn’t sense any ghostly presence beside me. Luigi was right. There were only bones and decaying corpses in the cemetery, nothing else.

This is an excerpt from November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

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
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo