The Madonna of Tindari

Sicilian poet and Nobel Prize winner Salvatore Quasimodo immortalised the ancient town of Tindari in his poem titled: The wind at Tindari, which sketches out the timeless nature of the religious sanctuary high in the mountains of the Tyrrhenian coast in the north-eastern province of Messina. Quasimodo’s poem is as relevant today as it was in the…

Sicilian Mountain Lessons

I’ve always been challenged by the mountainous landscape in Sicily. The boundless slopes disorient me, I have problems finding my bearings and the horizon is blocked out by them. When I go hiking down steep hillsides I am constantly holding on for dear life, grappling white-knuckled onto the flimsiest blade of grass. I’ve lost count…

An early Easter in Sicily

  By far the most spectacular time of year to visit Sicily has to be in the springtime, as it is filled with sunshine, freshness and the pageantry of Easter adds a distinctive colour and theatricality to the island. Easter in Italy certainly isn't all chocolate eggs and bunnies (even though they have them here…

Working for free and the arte di arrangarsi in Italy

This table on Wikipedia compares monthly salaries in different countries. Italy’s average wage is notably much less than most of the other wealthy or economically powerful European countries (such as France, Switzerland and Germany. The Nordic countries, in particular, have much more generous stipend levels). Italy looks pretty comfortable compared to the former Eastern bloc…

Caronte & Circe

July in Sicily is pleasant, the heat is more persistent and less of a novelty, in fact, people begin to take summer for granted after spending June lying on a warm rock soaking up vitamin D, like a scaly lizard who has just hatched out of its winter shell. The wind is fluctuating bringing bursts…

Coming back to Sicily: contrasting reflections

People love Italy, they fantasies about it, they want to live here but never realise how broken a place it is. It is slow in mentality, stubborn to change and frustrating for someone who is used to living in a younger faster moving, more efficient country. One day when the rest of the world is…

The Dangerously Truthful Diary of A Sicilian Housewife

I have been following Veronica Di Grigoli’s blog for a few years now, laughing along at the Sicilian Housewife’s  struggles and humorous confusion associated with day-to-day life in Sicily as an expat. Now the blog has become a wonderfully polished and hilarious laugh-out-loud-belly-laughing-thigh-slapping book and I cannot resist expressing my absolute delight! The Dangerously truthful diary…

Visit Secret Sicily with Oriana

One of my favorite new blogs about this complex isle I live on is Secret Sicily written by a fab virtual friend of mine named Oriana. I love meeting new people through their blogs and I think good blogging is about bringing out your own personality, passions and interests. It was great to have a…

The complexity of Italy’s cheating heart

  I often exchange stories with other expats about the Italians who have lied and cheated us with an ease and nonchalance which is both infuriating and puzzling. Not to say other countries don’t have problems with corruption as the world is rife, but in most Anglo-Saxon countries a politician or public servant or any…

Going home: an expat’s internal conflict

Every time I go home for a visit I get terribly excited, start making lists of what I want to do, who I need to see and what I should buy so I can make the most of my three months in Australia (as my Italian husband travels on a short tourist visa- I’m sure…

Searching for San Valentino

A skeptic Valentine As for me I think I am in serious danger of falling flat on my face here, you see I’ve never been the romantic type. I’m the one who encouraged my brother and his former girlfriend many years ago on Valentine’s day to fake a wedding proposal to get a free meal…

A basic guide to the San Remo Festival

The San Remo Italian song Festival is classic Italian television at its best wonderfully hyperactive, ostentatious, trashy and irrational all at the same time. This year the festival is in its sixty-fifth edition making it a dinosaur compared to the continually evolving landscape of the small screen. San Remo is always filled with controversy as…

Blogging around the world with Kate from Driving Like a Maniac

This year on Blogging around the World we have been to Barcelona with Rob Dobson on Homage to Barcelona, to the Maldives with Irene from Maldives Dreamer, Saudi Arabia and around the globe with Tahira on Tahira's Shenanigans, enjoyed some fun tid bits from France with Joanna of Multifarious Meanderings, Florence with Misty at Surviving…

A Christmas song going around in my head

I love how children are so easily infected with the Christmas spirit. My son has prepared for his Christmas play at school over the past couple of weeks, spontaneously bursting into song and looking forward to speaking his part at the microphone. He even made me download some songs, so we have been ‘jingle bell…

The humble Panettone

I grew up eating Panettone, every Christmas, at my Sicilian grandparents place it was traditional fare to cut slices, for afternoon tea, of this gigantic aromatic Christmas cake filled with sultanas, dried lemon and orange zest. Every year that Panettone deceived me with it’s light and fluffy appearance, I’d bite into it’s tall and slender…