by Roberto Alajmo, trans. by Guido Waldman
The siren-like qualities of the Sicilian capital are woven layer upon layer, each one revealing a stratum of the city’s character. In Palermo, Roberto Alajmo lays out a compelling series of reflections on the city and its many faces; those it shows the world, and those it keeps hidden. Disguised as a tourist’s handbook but written by a lifelong resident— with all the experience, affection, disillusion and insider’s knowledge that entails — Palermo offers much more than the usual run-of-the-mill recommendations for the traveller. Rather, it shows us not only a city that has been at history’s crossroads since recorded time began— if you know where to look, it is an archive of hidden cultural, architectural and culinary jewels— but a lived-in metropolis whose residents, their politics and their secrets, are as subtly revealed as the ineffable presence of the mafia in the cycle of daily life.