Colours and tales from Sicily

I use my camera like I’d use a notebook. recording little details and notes, things I’ve noticed or want to remember. I photograph small things that catch my eye, a particular design or pattern, something that is unusual to. It could be a texture that catches my eye or the way the sunlight hits a…

The Art of asking

A couple of years ago, I read Amanda Palmer’s fascinating memoir titled the Art of asking. I’ve been a fan since her band, the Dresden Dolls, burst onto the alternative music scene in the early 2000s. Apart from being a memoir, The Art of asking explores creativity and how to make it a career. Above…

My Sicily: a poem

What is Sicily to me? There are hundreds of Sicilies. An island of hundred faces. like the tale of Medusa who becomes more elaborate at every retelling. Singing like Rosa Balistreri with an emotional strength pouring out the tears in an overflowing stream. A song of Sicily’s poverty, her beauty, with her insatiable energy, the…

Flamboyant Italians: Cicciolina

Italy has a history that encapsulates many elements of the Roman Catholic Church; Rome is at the centre of its origins and development and is the point where the religion began to establish and disperse itself through Europe. So it is only natural to assume Italy is a staunchly Catholic country. Right? Like many other…

Cinepanettone: A comedic celebration

It's the end of another shaky year for the world as many countries are stepping back into restrictions after various surges of Corona cases; with vaccines and boosters all around the globe and new mutations in the news, it's still a difficult moment in history. This year seems to be a little more hopeful than…

A Baron’s dominion

Deep in the kingdom of the hazelnuts, the Baron of Salleo’s family had wealthy agricultural patronage with many hectares of hazelnuts, olive trees, wheat fields, together with country properties, a residence at the centre of Sinagra and another in the nearby hamlet of Baronia, most probably named in honour of the Baron himself. The Salleo…

Words from Sicily: Rambling around Taormina

My love of Taormina runs deep. It’s the first place I’ve ever taken any friend who has visited Sicily, and I simply adore exploring the town. I’m a little tired of visiting the Greek amphitheatre but not totally adverse to it, especially if the weather is excellent. You can see Etna (which hardly ever happens,…

Italian Song Challenge Day 30: Heather Parisi

https://youtu.be/99YyIr6YJmU Once again, I wasn’t listening to Italian music in my childhood, nor did I spend my childhood in Italy. So I choose this song which is something everyone in Italy grew up listening to. A cute song from the 1980s which was also used in a famous Italian cartoon series. Heather Parisi is an…

Italian Song challenge Day 29: Måneskin

https://youtu.be/GWVMcigVt48 Maneskin totally decimated the 2017 edition of the talent show X factor with their irreverent style. The energy of their stunningly original lead vocalist Damiano David, allowed them to finish in second place. They mix together contemporary rock, with folk, shock rock and 1980’s disco. The unique groups sound, attitude and presentation, has made…

Italian Song challenge Day 28: Noemi

https://youtu.be/HPVSB8kOWrM Veronica Scopelliti, known by the stage name of Noemi, is a highly successful singer-songwriter and television personality. After several years working in the music industry with only moderate success, she decided to participate in the 2009 edition of X Factor Italy. Even though she did not win the competition, the program showed off her…

Italian Song Challenge Day 27: Laura Pausini

https://youtu.be/FpOEN93LX-E Laura Pausini became famous after being discovered as a child while performing in a local piano bar. Pausini's incredibly powerful voice brought her television stardom, and her recording career has made her famous all around the world. Pausini rose to fame in 1993 when she won the newcomers section of the 43rd Sanremo festival…

Italian Song Challenge Day 26: Gianna Nannini

https://youtu.be/llt3K3dJuaM Gianna Nannini grew up in the Tuscan town of Siena. She spent her childhood learning music, she studied piano at the Conservatorium at Lucca and worked in the family business as a pastry chef. At the age of 18, Nannini participated in a music festival at Montecarlo, coming in fourth place. The following year…

Italian Song Challenge Day 25: Lucio Battisti

https://youtu.be/FBKE86YmS6w Lucio Battisti (1943 – 1998) was a hugely influential Italian singer-songwriter and composer who was widely recognised for many of the songs that defined Italian pop in the 60’s and 70’s. Battisti released 18 albums from 1969 to 1994, with many translated and released in other languages including Spanish, English, French and German. He…

Italian Song Challeng Day 24: J-AX & Fedez

https://youtu.be/yKT_euhimTk Officially J-ax and Fedez were not a band, the two irreverent rappers were collaborators over several albums. They both have a gift for fast-paced, acidic, funny lyrics and parody. Together they have created many immensely popular Italian pop songs over the last few years. It’s sad to see that they will no longer be…

Italian Song challenge Day 23: Ermal Meta

https://youtu.be/4WMejmcT9ZY Ermal Meta is a fascinating artist originally from Albania he literally fled civil war as a child, arriving in Italy on a boat. His work reflects the point of view of migrants to Italy, the oppressed and marginalised. His songs, far from being harsh or dark, are filled with hope and joy. After becoming…