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: Pupi

My son loves knights and dragons. He keeps begging me to buy him one of these marionette puppets, he would be drooling if he saw this big guy. I love the Pupi Siciliani as a form of Sicilian theatre that originated in the 18th Century and retold epic battles and tales of old. It nearly…

Literary Islands: Vitaliano Brancati

I stumbled upon Vitaliano Brancati quite by accident in a bookstore at Messina. I was attracted by the title of one his books, I discovered after he was quite a prolific novelist and later his most famous novel Il Bel Antonio was developed into a movie staring Marcello Mastroianni, which became a classic of Italian…

Postcards from Sicily: Winter

This winter has been disappointing for me, no snow for Christmas or New Years. Less money thanks to the Economic crisis and new taxes to pay in 2014. Cloudy times in wintry Sicily.

The fantasy of Cinepanettone and Fantaghirò

Apart from the usual annual preparations for Christmas like the tediousness of gift buying, yuletide menu planning and gift wrapping there is the tradition of the Christmas movie. Everyone has their favorite whether it be a black and white Jimmy Stewart classic, a kitsch Father Christmas tale, the Grinch that stole Christmas or endless tired…

Secluded Sicily: San Marco d’Alunzio

This curious itsy-bitsy place attracted my attention when I first saw it from a train heading from Palermo to Messina. I blinked my eyes in amazement to witness a town literally camped up on the top of a mountain. San Marco d’Alunzio seems tightly compacted up there on Monte Castro some five hundred and forty…

Literary Islands: Giovanni Verga

  Most language students who study Italian at university level are familiar with Giovanni Verga as his short stories in the simple realist style are a perfect introduction to Italian Literature as they are easy for first year students to follow. Verga’s short tale Cavalleria Rusticana was made into an opera libretto which together with…

Literary Islands: Salvatore Quasimodo

If I could take only one emblematic book with me from Sicily, I’d defiantly choose Salvatore Quasimodo’s complete poetical works. One of Sicily’s Primo Nobel’s in Literature, Quasimodo illustrates all the colours of his native island. His lifetime’s work, themes and forms span from: sparse expressive poetry, experimental pieces, poems inspired by mythology, politically charged…

Festa time at Capo D’orlando, Messina.

It’s become a tradition at this time of year to attend a series of Festa’s or celebrations dedicated to patron saints that are common to most towns here in Sicily, not out of any particular religious desire but simply to have a day out, rummage through the endless stalls and perhaps start buying those pesky…

Finding your bearings with language

Well, I survived my latest translation job. I have to give it all a read through today and send it off tomorrow. With the aid of a translating program I ran the science article through to literally translate it word for word and then spent the week going through it all. The pieces of the…

Secluded Sicily: Patti

The coastal city of Patti isn’t exactly a typical sleepy little Sicilian town, in the summer it is a buzzing tourist centre and is secured of its importance thanks to the many government offices and organizations that are located there. Patti’s vicinity to other big cities makes it a significant point in the map of…