Sicilian Loves

Sicilian LovesTHE BOOK: “Sicilian Loves”


THE AUTHOR: Benedict J. Di Salvo

THE EDITOR: Michael Kennedy and Diane Di Salvo

THE PUBLISHER: Self-published; Vervante is printer

SUMMARY: Sicilian Loves is about a young boy, then a man and his world, whose love transcended time, who could mesh memories with the present, turn recollections into sharp images and, like food, transform ordinary ingredients into delicacies garnished with stories of “Years ago…”

Image result for Benedict J. DiSalvo + photoFive chapters – each is one day and decades apart – are life-altering events in Cosmo Di Salvo’s life. Sicilian Loves is a real-life story starting in the early 1900’s, with classic photographs, authentic Old World recipes and tedious traditions, immigrant heartaches and a few conflicts with contentious Sicilian “Families” – all converge to convey a powerful story of Sicilian loyalty, loves, deeds and misdeeds, values, and how food is both delightful and a teacher… all “Justa fo’ you!”

THE BACK STORY: My Dad wanted more than a book from me. I did not give him a grandson; I did not want to manage a rebuilt (post fire) restaurant; nor did I become a priest but I promised to write a book in lieu of his disappointments. After 28 years of disregarding diligence, finally Sicilian Loves became a promise fulfilled.

WHY THIS TITLE? Sicilian Loves. “Loves” is both a noun and a verb.” The nouns are people, foods, heritage, stories, photographs and other things of times past. The verb is the act or occurrence of loving those nouns.


“I’m loving it! You write really well, with a dry sense of humor throughout; you make the readers feel real sorrow and so very sad, on many levels. “Mr. Ben” sounds like a formidable man, but clearly Vicenza’s “Santa Flavia” influence tempered Cosmo to a great extent.” — Barbara C, WI

“I love the book! And wish you were here to cook for us.” — Carol S, FL

“As I read this wonderful book it brought back so many memories of my own family… reading your recipes encouraged me to dig out my mom’s collection… this book will allow others’ memories to be rekindled.” — Jim H, OH

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“It’s wonderful, truly pulls me right into your memories, I can relate! I’m going to be making some of those wonderful recipes in your book in the coming months, can wait!!” — Linda R, WI

“I truly liked your book, I think that I gained 10 pounds just reading it!” — Mike D, WI

“I devoured the book in one reading. Had the book been available years ago, my eyes would have been opened to the difficulties when an ‘outsider’ marries into a Sicilian family. Your descriptions of the culture gave to me the knowledge of its traditions and perceptions needed to help my daughter build a stronger relationship.” — Pat H, WI

“I will treasure this book for the rest of my life.” — Millie E, Scotland, GB

“A wonderful and terrific book… ‘time and love blended’ really hit home.” — Cathy B, NY

“Some parts of the story made me cry…” — George A, WI

”It brought so many memories of my grandparents as immigrants and what they experienced. It is beautifully written and warm.” — Rae R, WI

“… there will be others like me that will look back to relive lost memories. I wish that I asked my parents questions as you did yours.” — Joe K, FL

AUTHOR PROFILE: Born a Leo in Madison’s (Wisconsin) “The Bush” – a neighborhood full of ethnic diversity and foods – raised Sicilian, Catholic and the only son (uh-oh). I visited many countries and, for a while, lived in Sicily with “famigghia.” I love to cook for others, concoct for me, to eat and sip, and I diligently try to keep promises – particularly to my Dad who wanted more than a book from me. After 28 years of disregarding diligence, finally SICILIAN LOVES is a promise fulfilled, and my joys of recognition and discovery are equal.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “Thirty years ago, W.W. Norton & Company rejected the book because it was neither a novel nor a cookbook. The structure, recipes woven into each chapter of the story that were relative to events or traditions of each chapter, was “too new.” My father just died, the book rejected and so I stopped pursuing its publication. I had fear of another rejection, of criticism from relatives and the public, of “when it’s printed, there’s no correcting” and the fear of failure – again. My wife said, “You almost died in surgery, so finish the book and get it published NOW! If not, the book will continue to be a haunting albatross. Finish it before you cannot!” Had it not been for Diane, the book would be on a shelf all right, but only in my mind.

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SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). Chapter 1 Leaving Santa Flavia click on link:

LOCAL OUTLETS: Gino’s and Fraboni’s (both delicatessens) and Orange Tree Imports – all in Madison, WI.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Website via PayPal or mail check to home address, or and type in “Sicilian Loves” or cut and paste this link to your browser

PRICE: Website price $22 includes signed book and mailing costs in US; additional $20 for all other countries; price increases with added “benefits” (treasures from the ‘50’s) from $25 up to $1,000 (details on website under “Buy the Book”).

Amazon price is $22.50

Retail stores prices vary in Madison


Mailing Address: Benedict J Di Salvo

1015 Mound St. #306

Madison, WI 537

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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