A dual Italian citizen of Sicilian descent, Dawn grew up in an Italian-American family in Staten Island, New York - the county with the highest percentage of Italian-Americans in the United States. In 2004, she was able to finally reconnect with her roots and make her first trip to the island - along with her husband, Joe, and the eldest 4 of their 7 children.
Dawn and Joe's passion for Sicily's history and culture has grown stronger over the past twenty years. A professor of European history, Dawn created and raised funds to support one of the few study abroad programs in Sicily for American college students. Since 2006, she has been introducing people of all ages to the island and its culture. In her capacity as a scholar of the island's medieval period, she has published numerous articles on Sicily's history and is the author of a book on Roger II of Sicily, the island's first king and the man who ruled it during what arguably was its finest hour. Dawn teaches the history of medieval Sicily and southern Italy (among other things) at Montclair State University, whose faculty she joined in 2003. Joe has been at her side during this journey and together they direct a digital humanities project to conserve the Sicily's Norman past. a senior software engineer in the private sector, Joe has worked for numerous startups and corporations over his thirty-year-long career, including with Microsoft. Under his direction, Quattro Sante's technological infrastructure is in very good hands. For more about Dawn, visit her personal website. Additional information about Joe is available on his LinkedIn site.
As for the company name, "Quattro Sante” – Four [Female] Saints - it comes from a word play on the “Quattro Canti” - The Four Corners - that define the historical center of Palermo, Sicily's capital. At the top of each of these fountains stands one of Palermo's traditional patron saints - Ninfa, Oliva, Cristina and Agatha - whose protection has been sought after by countless Sicilians for centuries. This deep Sicilian affection for patron saints has inspired the names of the sample itineraries we offer.