Title: The Art of a Useless Life
Author: Alfio Caruso
Data: 2010, 375 p., paperback
Publisher: Einaudi



Willy Melodia has returned to Italy from the United States at the behest of Charles “Lucky” Luciano, the father of American organized crime. He crosses the Italian countryside in his enormous Delahaye coupe, the nation devastated by World War II, but clinging to the possibility of a brighter future. He decides to open a restaurant in Taormina, a coastal town in Sicily, styled after the swanky, American piano bars where he performed for 15 years. Paradise quickly becomes the hottest spot in town after the inauguration of the Taormina Film Festival, when its exceptional cuisine and pianist become the favorite of world-renowned stars. But Willy has left behind his two children, Sal and Sarah, in America, and each are unaware of the other’s existence. A slice of Italian post-war life told through the eyes of a man embroiled in the glamorous and perilous lifestyle of a Mafioso.