Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Caltanissetta

Throughout the year, Sicily offers the occasion to enjoy the best local food and traditions for locals and visitors. A town or city's Sagra will feature a particular speciality celebrated and usually consumed for only a few Euros. Some people hire a camper, particularly in the summer and go from sagra to sagra, depending on…

Messina: the city of mythology

Even though Messina battles the usual problems of a big city in Sicily, it is much more cosmopolitan and laid back than the other provincial capitals. What attracts me most to Messina is the unusual mixture of mythology and legend, which intertwines with the city's history to create an intoxicating and alluring tapestry. As is…

Randazzo: at the feet of Mongibello

Randazzo sits under the feet of Mount Etna; a gigantic menacing shadow is constantly over the city. It is a place born out of the volcano and at its mercy. The wide lava streets of Randazzo create a sense of ancientness, the shades of grey sketching out the city in the deep depressing tones of…

The trials of raising a bilingual child in small-town Italy

I'm raising my child to speak English in Italy, not just anywhere in Italy but precisely in a small town in Sicily. Unlike the major cities on the peninsula like Rome, Milan, or even Palermo, with large ex-pat communities and English international schools, I'm the only English speaker in my local community. This is great…

Fashionable English

Sometimes, well, Italy is an awkward fit for me. Actually most times, which is ok, as I am generally self-conscious in everyday life. It is strange to think that someone genetically 100%  Italian would find life in Italy to be uncomfortable. I would be a sought-after show pony if there were a pedigree for Italian-ness.…

A Sicilian wedding baptism

It's wedding season in Sicily, which means the usual array of pretty spring brides and grooms. Many people finally get married after postponing their weddings for two years of Covid. While others, funnily enough, have decided to make Covid babies and then celebrate a wedding and baptism together. I'm sure my dear Sicilian grandparents would…

First and lasting impressions of Palermo: stereotypes

Image from Carmen Laeuzza unsplash.com Looking above the street level on Via della Libertà, I see high rise 'Palazzi' buildings and elegant apartment buildings all along the road as far down as I can see. The street is lined with multi-storey buildings with intricate stonework, some with particular wrought iron designs and glass panels. They…

A taste of local politics

This year it is election time in my small Sicilian town. I've never been one to follow politics on any level unless it has to do with a particular issue or social problem. I can never muster the energy to pursue it. Yet, I am constantly surprised at how deeply political everyone is in Italy.…

AC Milan madness

  I don't follow sports or sports clubs, but since moving and living in Italy, I have been exposed to the culture of Italian soccer. Here the sport of soccer is a way of life. Who you follow on the soccer field will determine who your friends are, and you will form connections and alliances…

10 things to keep in mind while planning a trip to Italy

  Don’t come in August I’ve said this many times, you can visit throughout the year so don’t come in the most overcrowded, hot and humid part of the year when most Italians are on summer holidays you will be uncomfortable and will never have an authentic experience. September will be just as beautiful, autumn/fall…