Raccoon plays a crucial role in Sicily’s Little Italy revival

Written by By Sophia Healy, CNN Florence

The Sicilian island of Trapani and the neighboring municipalities of Trapani Marina and Trapani Ermes have spent seven years “recovering” a corner of history known as Little Italy — the small, rambling network of districts that date from the 12th century. It’s not clear how many of those were occupied, but the islands now boast 83 houses and hundreds of buildings restored by local residents as housing, offices, stores and public places.

“Almost all of those that were left in the areas we are renovating have one thing in common: many of them are prisons,” says Federico Alba, a Turin-based professional golfer turned renovation expert and a de facto “celebrity” for his work on the islands.

“It’s a story that you don’t necessarily want to know,” he admits. He tells his story with the photos and video above and videos in English below.

“A new story”: Spies shoot Sicily’s Last Rest Italia rooftop garden Italian spies have been shooting the Sicily’s Last Rest Italia rooftop garden (Courtesy Federico Alba), an outdoor apartment near Trapani Marina. The rooftop has amazing views, and is the place where a dedicated “brilliant mind” transforms the island’s neglected neighbourhoods into a modern living space, restoring the fragile fabric of the area’s history.

Travel blog Showbuzz throws the show: Alba’s transformation of Sicily. The photographs and videos reflect the Portuguese architect’s love of Sicily, which has inspired him to renovate abandoned buildings, renovate and restore others that have had their time, and transform a large rural area in the Taormina region, for 10 years.

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