Five reasons not to book your holiday to Italy in August

  Some friends have told me they are finally coming to Italy next year and I’m over the moon to get to see them! They are coming in August, a time of year I’d really encourage people to avoid. I don’t understand why travel agents encourage people to book holidays to Italy in August or…

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…

I morticini Halloween in Sicily

According to the Roman Catholic traditions in Sicily the first two days of November are known as ‘All Saints day' and 'All Souls day' (respectively dedicated to  the churches’ canonized Saints and the deceased). As with most traditions they have become colourfully interpreted by popular culture and anticipated by the thirty first of October, good…

Secluded Sicily: San Piero Patti

I have many distinct memories from my childhood of visiting cousins of my grandfather who lived up in the hills outside of Perth, WA (Lesmurdie to be precise). I remember feeling as if we were going on an adventure, out into the middle of no where. I can still see those generous, vivacious people who…

Postcards from Sicily: The sea is always better in Autumn/Fall

Isn't it funny how the beach and the sea gets better in the Autumn/Fall. This canoeist had the right idea, jump in and make the most of it, on the seaside near Capo d'orlando, Messina.

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…

Squeezing those grapes

We're well and truly into the swing of Autumn/Fall here in Sicily even if it seems the weather has forgotten what time of year it is and the Sirocco wind is wreaking havoc withering everything it touches. For those unfamiliar with the term Sirocco here's a definition from our friends at Wikipedia: Sirocco, scirocco, /sɪˈrɒkoʊ/,…

The difference between a tourist and a traveller

   I don’t understand why people who have extra money to afford overseas travel, feel obliged to become tourists. There is something blazingly irksome when travel becomes a status symbol. People who travel without any love, desire, passion or preparation for the journey are simply blind. A tourist will pick the most popular, fashionable destinations, book a…

A funeral, a wedding and a baptism in Sicily

This September has been a sombre month, the end of summer and the prelude to winter it is a transitional period in the cycle of life with the promise of new beginnings. The month began with the funeral of a friend's great grandmother who was the matriarch of the family. Carmela was elderly and she…

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…

The ‘hen’s night’ Italian style

I’ve always disliked the ardent silliness that goes on at pre-wedding ‘hens’ nights and bachelor parties. In Australia and the UK these night time facades in the past have resulted in cruel practical jokes and lewd conduct that is often regretted the morning after. Thank goodness these types of parties have become a thing of…

Gathering wild fennel

It’s the end of August which means the end of summer is here. The reign of warm sunny days is beginning to lose it’s hold over the seasons as intense storms usher in the autumn and eventually winter. The ancient culinary rites which once symbolized the preparation for the harsh winters have already began. Tomatoes…