Ten ways to tell you’ve been living in Sicily too long

1. I unashamedly buy my underwear at the markets. I used to be embarrassed at the prospect of buying undies and bras from market stalls, the idea of everyone observing me was once crippling. Now I don’t blink an eye and happily rummage around the lingerie stand. I also occasionally buy fruit and vegetables from…

5 things you probably didn’t know about Italy

1. Ask for a discount, cos you can! Its normal to ask for a discount on expensive items particularly jewelry, designer items and white goods. Ask for it, demand it and you will get it! 2. Be careful with technology GPS off the main roads and the autostrada has a tendency to take you off…

Blogging around the world: Homage to Barcelona

I’m really pleased to begin posting some interviews from my favourite travel and expat blogs as there are so many awesome bloggers out there that help you to virtually travel via the web. Our first stop is Barcelona, Spain which is the inspiration for English expat, search engine marketing consultant and super nice guy, Rob…

Secluded Sicily: Raccuja’s ghosts

I live a few minutes drive from the hometown of my maternal grandparents who migrated to Australia in the 1950’s. Visiting Raccuja is like seeing ghosts pass before my eyes, it’s a strange visceral experience. I grew up hearing my grandparents stories and it is emotional to find myself passing upon their footsteps. Even if…

Literary Islands: Giuseppe di Lampedusa

Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard (Il gattopardo) is my favorite Sicilian novel of all time. The sumptuous world of the Prince of Salina is a precious link to Sicily’s baroque aristocracy. It also inspired one of the best international cinematic productions with the classic 1963 film adaptation directed by Luchino Visconti starring Burt Lancaster as…

E viva San Leone … E musica

This year I was fortunate enough to get to San Leone’s ‘festa’ at Longi (20th Feb) which I find is generally more traditional and particular then the one celebrated at Sinagra (even if I love them both!) I liked the solemn religiosity and playfulness of Longi’s interpretation of this Saint’s celebration. Not only does the…

Postcards from Sicily: Etna UFO

Ok, so I'm running a little late with the Friday photo. But it is spectacular nonetheless!! Etna has been acting out once again, this time with an avalanche thrown in. We saw this amazing cloud formation, from her which seemed like a giant UFO.

The Beauty of Blogging

I am constantly surprised by the wonderful people I am meeting and the connections I am making thanks to my blog. Not only do I give my flabby writing muscles a work out but I also seem to be meeting friends and perhaps even will get some paid work out of it. I am even…

Postcards from Sicily: Bomboniere

Italian's have a mania for giving sugared almond filled bomboniere for every occasion. There are little colourful packages for births,baptisms,weddings etc. I got this cute one recently all in red for a Laurea ... or a university degree! Yes just when you thought there couldn't be any other excuses for a bomboniere ...

Literary Islands: Federico De Roberto

Frederico De Roberto’s I Vicere’ or The Viceroy’s was another accidental discovery for me, thanks to the Italian’s flare for rich television series period drama. I fell in love with De Roberto’s characters thanks to the screen adaptation I watched a few years ago on the RAI television network in Italy (2007). I was so…

Blackbird days

It’s a bleak time of year here in the mountain villages of the Nebrodi. The intermittent rain and hail is interrupted by tiny specks of sunshine quickly smudged out by the billowing charcoal clouds. The chill makes me want to shut myself up inside. My lips are chapped and my hands are rough and sandpapery…