Midnight in Sicily

By Peter Robb
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780375704581, 400pp.)

Publication Date: February 1999

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Description
Off the southern coast of Italy lies Sicily, home to an ancient culture that with its stark landscapes, glorious coastlines, and extraordinary treasure troves of art and archeology has seduced travellers for centuries. But at the heart of the island's rare beauty is a network of violence and corruption that reaches into every corner of Sicilian life: La Cosa Nostra, the Mafia.

In an intoxicating mix of crime, travel, and food writing, Peter Robb, a writer who lived in Southern Italy for fourteen years, sets out to understand both the historic roots of the Mafia and its central place in contemporary Italian politics. And whether he's touting the gustatory strength of Neapolitan espresso, unveiling the Arabic origins of pasta, or unraveling the criminal history of a bandit, Robb seductively brings Sicilian culture to life.

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