Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Messina

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…

Food and religious festivals in Sicily this August

August is a month filled with endless Sagre and Feste in a series of celebrations which fill the table with food tasting and patron saint holidays. Most Italians have their annual summer holidays this month, so things are particularly hectic. August in Italy means the thermometer hits its peak. The humid Italo summer closes down…

10 More Food Festivals in Sicily

Sicily has a wonderfully variegated cuisine; its plate is filled with influences from all around the Mediterranean, from the Middle East to North Africa, Greece and many more. There is great pride in preparing local specialities and showing off the abundant talent of each chef. Like in most of Italy, each region, even town from…

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…

10 irksome culture shocks in Italy

It's been a while since my last rant about the irksome parts of culture shock in Italy. I've learnt to adapt to most of the stuff I used to find bothersome; after all, you cannot pretend that an entire culture will change to fit your convenience. I take culture shock with a smile and try…

10 Feste Patronale in Sicilia

Every town and city in Italy has its own Saintly patron or protector which has its own dedicated festa or celebration during the year with associated religious processions and events. In Sicily alone, there are three hundred and ninety town halls which means many different variations in Saint day celebrations.   Apart from the religious…

10 of my favourite Italian-themed books

People are always asking me for Italian book recommendations and after I recently posted my favourite movies I knew I will have to also write a list of book recommendations. I've tried to avoid huge commercial successes and clichè building monsters as I want to give everyone something different and challenging to read. So excuse…

Hunting near Capizzi

Capizzi is clumsily spilt on a high hill; its stone houses have been plucked out of the Middle Ages. The streets are made of tightly paved stones and tiny dwellings like huts huddled together to create a mosaic in different shades of charcoal.  The road snakes up the hill to Capizzi reaching a peak at the head of…

Mata and Grifone

  Sicily is famous for its ceramics, designed in the classic Maiolica glazed style with delicate baroque patterns. The most original pieces and those who stimulate the most interest from visitors are the Moorish head designs, which consist of pairs of pots, cups or jars which depict a fair-skinned woman and a man with distinctly…

The Fertility of Sicily

An old Sicilian mantra says in Sicily there are only good or bad seasons. In a place of few subtleties, there is only the bountiful or frugal and little in between. Sicilians are born out of their land and are shaped by the seasons the landscape creates. A Siciliano will hibernate in winter and interact…

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…

Italian coffee culture shock

  The last time I was home in Australia I became a victim to reverse culture shock. It’s a very strange affliction for an ex-pat living in Italy as usually every day you are battling tiny little moments of friction between yourself and your new home, but slowly you begin to adjust and don’t think…

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…

First and lasting impressions of Palermo: Louis Vuitton

Sicily is such a beautifully textured place; many layers of history have been placed, one on top of the other. Each period of history leaves spaces and gaps where you can see the remnants of many different stories. These fragments are intriguing as they lead you towards many histories, stories, and endless possibilities. Each place…

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…