Postcards from Sicily: Welcome to Messina

Since a picture is worth a thousand words I thought I'd share some random picture from my holidays, when I get a moment. Here is the warm welcome Messina gives to it visitors arriving on the ferry, an open armed statue of the Virgin Mary greeting and blessing every visitor as they pass into the…

Why do Sicilians fear Air conditioning?

I recently met a lovely Canadian lady who was complaining about the lack of air conditioning in Sicily. I had totally forgotten why Sicilian’s and Italian’s in general are so anti artificial cooling systems in the summer. I have passed through so many humid summers it must have fried my memory when it comes to…

Etna’s flatulence

The Mount Etna volcano is a dominant force on this island of Sicily and is a living part of the Sicilian landscape. Etna’s sixty by forty kilometre base is the heart of the island and its three thousand three hundred metre tall shadow has given birth to this fertile Sicilian land, rich in mythology. The…

First day at the beach

Summer has finally arrived here in Sicily, even if it’s been a chilly summer so far with overcast mornings and rainstorms. We’ve only just been able to put away our long sleeves but they are still within our reach as we are frightened to get a chill. I’m defiantly a lover of the summer and…

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…

Secluded Sicily: Sinagra

My journey into sleepy Sicilian places began with my current home, Sinagra. It is the town that my husband and his family adopted as they gradually moved towards the coast away from the once agriculturally rich mountain regions whose decline began after the post world war two period. Sinagra is one of those ancient towns…

The humble water fountain

Italy is a country with an abundance of water, where you find beautifully refreshing water fountains with drinkable water for everyone even in the biggest cities. The result is the beautiful art work that is used to celebrate the gift of water which we can see throughout Italy. The water fountain becomes an elaborate altar,…

Beauty in the details

As you get older I think you begin to appreciate the smaller details of things. I once used to look at the big detailed elements of a work of art like a statue or a church to become absorbed in the whole. It’s easy to become mesmerised by the art work in such a historically…

Praying for the summer to come

I recently looked over some old pictures I took one summer along the coastline in between Capo d’orlando and Brolo in the province of Messina, Sicily and I’ve suddenly had a yearning for the summer. Look and see if you don’t feel the same desire to dive into the waters of summer in Sicily.  

Buono come’ il pane : As good as bread

It is very Sicilian to say someone is as good as bread.There is nothing better or pure and simple as freshly baked bread. Lui e’ buono come pane means he is as ‘good as gold’ as Australians say. Sicilians are less materialistic in their turn of phrase, history has made them humble and appreciate the gift…

A house in Sicily: Casa Cuseni, Taormina

  In amongst the many books I have read in my research during my time here in Sicily my all time favourite has to be the autobiographical A House in Sicily by Daphne Phelps. It is a wonderful love letter to Sicily that became Daphne’s home after inheriting a grand old house built and designed…

Messina

Of all the major cities in Sicily, Messina is the one with which I have the most familiarity, simply because it is physically closer to Sinagra. But apart from this I find that Palermo is too decrepit and full of crime, Catania is just plain dirty and dangerous and the others are simply too difficult…

Italian fringe benefit: fashion

One fringe benefit of living in Italy is the wonderful world of Italian fashion. I love plunging into glossy Italian magazines to see what lovely new styles Italian designers have come up with for each new season. It’s a girly thing. Flicking through June’s Myself magazine (I know the title doesn’t exactly scream Italy but…

10 books to read instead of visiting Sicily

I’m big on reading and the journey books can create in your life. If you can’t travel a book can give you an authentic experience without leaving your armchair. Sometimes travelling isn't always possible but this is no reason not to experience a place through its literature. Sicily has inspired many locals and foreigners with…