Reading Trinacria

This is an evolving cornucopia of randomly discovered writings from native Sicilians, Italians and foreigners who have dedicated works to this multifaceted place. This inventory is based on a long rambling obsession with all things Sicilian studied over what feels like a lifetime of living and exploring Sicily.

Every once in a while I will be adding to this series of book reviews, essays and interviews with the aim of compiling an in-depth reading list for anyone who wants to learn more about Sicily. Or whoever is looking for an excellent read with a Sicilian theme.

I only add what I think is well written and entertaining. If something you know is missing, it is either wasn’t very good, or I still haven’t read it yet.

This list doesn’t included guidebooks as I feel they really aren’t something you’d read to get a real sense of the island, they are more practical guides to help you physically navigate the place.

These feature books have been inspired by Sicily and will take you on a journey through Sicilian culture while comfortably sitting on your favourite reading chair.

If you know of something new with a Sicilian theme or have written a book about Sicily please drop me an email:
This page is in constant evolution so please be sure to check back every once in a while.

Reading Trinacria is divided into the following genres in no particular order with links to in-depth reviews and information, which will be gradually added to!


History and cultural guides

Andrew and Suzanne Edwards. Sicily: A literary guide.

Jeremy Dummett. Syracuse: City of Legends and Palermo City of Kings: the heart of Sicily.

John Julius Norwich. The Normans in Sicily.

Finley M I and Denis Mack Smith. A short history of Sicily.

Giuseppe Quatriglio. A thousand years in Sicily and Sicily.

Sandra Benjamin. Sicily: Three Thousand Years of Human History.

Calogero Messina. Sicilians Wanted the inquisition.

David Abulafia.The Great Sea.

Norman Lewis. In Sicily.

Joseph Farrell. Sicily a cultural history.

Nancy Goldstone.Joanna: queen of Naples, Jerusalem and Sicily.

Rick Atkinson. The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944.

Raleigh Trevelyan: Princes Under the Volcano.

Travel and memoir

Travel/ Memoir/ Biography

John Keahey. Seeking Sicily: A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean.

Theresa Maggio: Mattanza: Love and Death in the Sea of Sicily and The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily.

Brian Johnston. A summer in Sicily.

David Gilmore: The last leopard: A life of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

Mary Taylor Simeti. On Persephone’s Island: A Sicilian Journal.

Daphne Phelps. A House in Sicily.

Shamus Sillar: Sicily, it’s not quite Tuscany.

Joseph Cione Sicily on My Mind: Echoes of Fascism and World War II.

Allan Langdale: Palermo: travels in the city of happiness.

Matthew Fort: Sweet honey, bitter lemons and Summer in the Islands.

Caroline Seller Manzo: Casa Nostra: A home in Sicily.

Marlena di Blasi: That summer in Sicily: A love story.

Francine Prose: Sicilian Odyssey.

Francesca Magnosa: My Sicily .

Francesco Scanelli. Sicilian Shadows.

Ben Morreale Sicily. A hallowed land.

English Novels and Novellas

Novels and novellas in English

Anthony Di Renzo. Trinacria: A Tale of Bourbon Sicily.

Venero Armanno. The Volcano, Firehead and Black mountain.

Angelo F. Coniglio. The Lady of the Wheel.

Tariq Ali. A Sultan in Palermo.

Ann Ward Radcliffe: A Sicilian Romance.

Edward Montague: The Demon of Sicily.

Cecelia Holland: Great Maria.

Barry Unsworth: The Ruby in Her Navel.

Lily Prior. La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture.

Domenico Eannello: Sicily: where love is.

Daniel Keyon: The savage heart of Palermo

Historical travelogue

Historical travelogues

Lawrence Durrell: Sicilian Carousel.

Julia Kavanach: A summer and winter in the two sicilies.

Walter Copland Perry: Sicily in Fable, History, art and Song.

D.H Lawrence: Sea and Sardinia.

Guy de Maupassant: Sicily.

Henry Festing Jones: Diversions in Sicily.

Edmondo De Amicis: Memories of a trip to Sicily


Anthologies and journals

Chiara Mazzucchelli. The Heart and the Island: A critical study of Sicilian American Literature

Venera Fazio and Delia De Santis. Sweet Lemons: Writings With a Sicilian Accent.

Getano Cippola. Arbasicula: Journal of Sicilian Folklore and literature.

Riccardo Francaviglia. Myths in Sicily.

Sicilian Authors

Sicilian authors

Roberto Alajmo: Palermo e’ una cipolla.

Simonetta Agnello Hornby: La Mennulara.

Leonardo Sciascia: The Moro Affair, Sicilian Uncles, The dark wine sea.

Matteo Collura: Sicilia sconosciuta, In Sicilia and L’isola senza ponte: uomini e storie di Sicilia.

Andrea Camilleiri: Death in Sicily.

Mario Giordano: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions.

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. The Leopard, I racconti and La serena.

Vitaliano Brancati. Don Giovanni in Sicilia, Il bell’Antonio and Paolo il caldo .

Federico De Roberto: I Viceré .

Salvatore Quasimodo: Poetry.

Giovanni Verga. Cavalleria Rusticana and Other Stories.

Luigi Pirandello: short stories and plays.

Elio Vittorini: Conversazione in Sicilia .

Giuseppe Bonaviri: Dolcissimo.

Giuseppina Torregrossa: Il conto delle minne.

Danilo Dolci. Sicilian Lives.

On the theme of Mafia

Norman Lewis. The honored society.

John Dickie. Mafia brotherhoods and Mafia Republic.

Peter Rob: Midnight in Sicily

Mario Puzo. The Sicilian .

Claire Sterling. Octopus: The Long Reach of the International Sicilian Mafia.
Giovanni Falcone (interview with Marcello Padovani): Cose di cosa nostra.

Carl Russo. The Sicilian Mafia: a true crime travel guide.

Food and drink

Food and Wine

Robert Camuto: Palmento: Sicilian Wine Odyssey.

Mary Taylor Simeti. Pomp and Sustenance: 25 Centuries of Sicilian Food and Sicilian food: Recipes from Italy’s abundant isle. Bitter Almonds.

Rachel Roddy. Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome.

Melissa Muller. Sicily the Cookbook: Recipes Rooted in Traditions.

Alessandra Dammone. Sweet Sicily. Storie di pupi, amori e canditi. Sugar and spice, and all things nice.
The Sicilian Kitchen by Michele di Bartolo.



Jann Huizenga. Sicilians in Baroque towns and Sicily in colour.

Angheli Zalapi, Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi and Melo Minnella. Palaces of Sicily.