Well, she just couldn't wait to turn this into a travel log, you say. Actually, this is going to be a genealogy tip for anyone interested in Sicilian Genealogy.
On the second day in Palermo, Sicily, we visited the Cathedral of Montreale. As one of the members of our tour mentioned, she had seen enough cathedrals from her travels and approached this one without much enthusiasm. Once inside, we were all awestruck. The interior is done in gold mosaics that simply take away one's breath. We had a local guide whose English was without accent. It turns out one of her parents was American and the family moved back to Sicily when she was in her teens. She mentioned that she was an author and that her books could be found on Amazon.
After reading about her, I marveled that we were so lucky as to have had her as our guide that day. Her name is Jacqueline Olio and is considered one of Sicily's leading historians. Just google the name to learn more. I haven't ordered any of her books yet, but I will be placing my order soon. One of the reviews of The People's of Sicily: A Multicultural Legacy caught my attention, and I wanted to share it with anyone who might be working on Sicilian Genealogy.
One reviewer says:
"Has answered many questions about my family history and even found family names listed. Confirmed stories I learned from my grandmother and now I know they are not fable. I am intrigued beyond measure, but more than that I have found so much information that I would need to go through many, many sources to find this history."
"Let me start off by saying this book is one of the most valuable tools for researching Sicilian genealogy."
The People's of Sicily: A Multicultural Legacy was co-authored by Jacqueline Olio and Louis Mendola. Mendola is the author of Sicilian Genealogy and Heraldry and Jacqueline Alio has written Women of Sicily: Saints, Queens and Rebels.
I hope this is of use to someone out there. It makes me wish I were Sicilian. Well, maybe if I dig far enough... after all it was a crossroads of so many cultures. I could have had an ancestor among the Normans, Romans, Goths, Byzantines, Arabs, Germans, Greeks, or Jews. Or even one of the civilizations I had never heard of before this trip. Yes, I know, I am stretching a bit.