In metropolises there are often areas that seem to concentrate in a few streets the energy, character, darkness, violence and beauty of the whole city, as if they were a condensate of life, a clumped and strong version of the flavors of every corner and square. This is the neighborhood of which Calaciura tells, a handful of narrow streets in the heart of Palermo in which every vice and virtue, heart and guts, misery and wealth is mirrored and deformed. Here live Mimmo and Cristofaro, children and fraternal friends, Carmela and her daughter Celeste, Totò the robber and the friend who will betray him, here horses are bred for races and the scales of the delicatessens are rigged, while the ferry’s barks mingle with the wails caused by a drunken father’s fists. On one side is the sea, with its wind that disrupts smells in dancing whirls, carrying fragrance of meat all the way into the homes of those who never eat meat. On the other is the flat expanse of the city, with its stores, wealthy ladies, law and guards. In the alleys, the smell of bread baked twice a day arouses such awe that everyone marks themselves with a cross, perhaps as law enforcement besieges the neighborhood and guards its entrances. But the larger city cannot stifle its guts, its heart, for there its soul has rested, there it glimpses the miracles and wonder of each day, the pride and effulgence of the ancient, of the present, the hope of the future.