The Newsletter About Current Events in SicilyMonday 8 September 2008

About SicilyToday.net

SicilyToday.net is a unique new 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.

SicilyToday.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.

Special features

We’re also one of the few publications that keeps you informed about the activities, events, and publications related to Sicily that originate from or take place throughout the English-speaking world.

            -Our New Publications section will tell you about new books, academic papers, and government and private sector reports on Sicily and topics related to Sicily.

            -Our Events & Meetings section will provide timely announcements of conferences, meetings, and special events pertaining to Sicily that take place throughout the world, including, of course, in Sicily and Italy.

            -Our Sicily-USA section will include announcements about activities and events of Sicilian-American and Italian-American organizations as well as other groups involved in Sicily related issues. Group sponsored trips to Sicily and tips on the latest methods for tracing Sicilian family roots will be among the resources provided in the Sicily-USA section.

SicilyToday.net’s main objective, of course, will be to offer you interesting coverage about what goes on in Sicily itself.

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 immigrate 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 SicilyToday.net will cover in the coming months:

          -Italy’s recently elected Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has vowed to complete the longstanding and controversial project to build the world’s longest suspension bridge connecting Sicily to mainland Italy. Former Prime Minister Romano Prodi and many of his allies in the Italian Parliament continue to oppose the project, saying it's too expensive. 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 40th anniversary is approaching for the devastating 1968 earthquake in Western Sicily’s Belice Valley region, which claimed the lives of 531 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 are demanding that New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and California’s J. Paul Getty Museum 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, and Prime Minister Silvio Burlesconi’s center-right coalition once again won the Sicilian vote by a wide margin in Italy's April 2008 election. Yet, just one year earlier, the industrial city of Gela re-elected an openly gay mayor. 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 news stories that appear regularly in the Italian press, 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. Sicily Today.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.

We’re free but we’d like your support

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In order to make this possible, we’ll need the help of supporters who advertise in Sicily Today.net. We think fine advertisers will benefit from a readership interested in the wide range of information we provide on an intriguing subject.

As we launch this start-up phase of SicilyToday.net, we are offering a very attractive “early bird” rate for ads that have the potential of reaching wide and diverse audience.

We invite you to contact us about advertising information at ads@sicilytoday.net.


 

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