The Death of the Fisherman Mayor, by Nina Burleigh

In spring 2011, I was in the southern Italian region called Cilento, reporting on the tragic and stillNina Burleigh Vassallo murder unsolved murder of Angelo Vassallo, the beloved "sindaco-pescadoro" of a town called Pollica consisting of six tiny villages on the Mediterranean Coast about two hours south of Naples. The town is famous first as the home of the so-called Mediterannean Diet, popularized by American cardiologist Ancel Keys, who based himself there. It's also where Hemingway lived for a while, and gathered stories from the local fishermen for his book Old Man and the Sea.
Vassallo had been re-elected four times and had transformed his impoverished town into a world-class model of sustainable development, promoting the local bounty - goat cheese, olive oil and other traditional farmer fare as "artisanal" food all over Italy, and even beyond its borders. Vassallo was instrumental in the international slow food movement. He was ambushed and shot while driving home one night, after a series of arguments with crooked developers who would like to cash in on the region's beauty and turn it into another Positano.
My story finally runs this month, and you can read it here in Men's Health.
The photo here shows him holding a wine glass of sea water aloft, showing how clean it was after he installed the town's first sewer purification system.

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