Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sicilian icons: Paolo Borsellino & the Antica focacceria San Francesco

Do you know what the "Antica focacceria San Francesco" is? And what has to do with Paolo Borsellino? Well, read on and everything will be clarified.


In the city of Palermo, capital of Sicily there is a place that we all consider an "institution", not only because is very famous and the food is great, but also because it's ancient (as the word 'antica' suggests) and traditional.  I am talking about the "Antica focacceria San Francesco" located in via Paternostro, just opposite the church of San Francesco di Assisi, which explains why it got this name. You cannot visit Palermo without going there at least once. 

The focacceria is a unique place because you can find both the Sicilian street food (sfincione, spleen sandwich, pane e panelle and local home cooked dishes such as sarde a beccaficobaked anelletti, eggplants rolls and so on, but also some traditional rotisserie like our famous arancine. Personally I love this place not only for the food but also for the atmosphere, infact when you walk inside you have the illusion of going back in the past somehow... the style, the pictures on the wall, you feel that something is still connected to the ancient times... in some ways and I find it extremely charming and fascinating. I also met John Turturro there :)))

Now, another person born in Palermo that loved to go to this place was: PAOLO BORSELLINO. He was a judje that fought against the mafia all his life and was assassinated by the mob at 52 years old, on july 19th 1992, on a hot sunday afternoon while going to visit his mother. Today we remember the 20th anniversary of his death. 

I want to remember him as well from my blog because talking about food doesn't necessarily mean that we have to forget about the rest. I do CARE and I want readers to know about his sacrifice, his courage, his humanity, his consistency, his professionalism. We owe him a lot and we should try every day to be more like him and follow his example. The world would just be a BETTER PLACE.


Few weeks before his death, he knew that the moment had come for him, he knew he was going to be killed just like some of his collegues before and he also knew the "explosive" had arrived to blow him up, but instead of running away, hiding or disappearing, he continued his work until the very end. That is what makes him such a HERO!

His name is on our airport and our velodrome, he is a Sicilian hero and an example for every human being, but I want you to know he was also a simple man, passionate about his job and his family; he liked cycling and eating fish, and loved to go to the Antica Focacceria.

                                                              WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU.


4 comments:

  1. i was in sicily last june and i had the pane con la milza from this focacceria.

    the other day, i was just thinking about sicily (really random!). and i came to your blog because i saw the german word milz (which is basically the same thing as milza) and i was looking up pane con la milza and then one thing leads to another. great blog btw. now i really wish to go back to sicily.

    cheers
    kori

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  2. A very good and brave man, with an equally courageous sister who has continued his fight against terror and corruption. And the Antica Focacceria should also be honoured for their steadfast refusal to pay protection money to the Mafia.

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  3. Thank you so much for both your comments.
    @Kori: I am so pleased you like my blog. Definetely have to come back and we can go to Antica Focacceria together :))

    @Julie: You are absolutely right. Not only his sister Rita, who now is in the European parliament but also his brother Salvatore who started a battle for JUSTICE and TRUTH. Yesterday we gathered with him on the street of the massacre to remember and to prove that judje Paolo is still alive and still with us. We all want to know who are the hidden people behind his death.

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  4. Georgia, mi sembra una buona idea!

    mi piace anche il tuo omaggio a Paolo Borsellino. peccato, che Sicilia vive sia nella ombra dell'etna sia nella ombra del mafia.

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