Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Caltanissetta

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…

The trials of raising a bilingual child in small-town Italy

I'm raising my child to speak English in Italy, not just anywhere in Italy but precisely in a small town in Sicily. Unlike the major cities on the peninsula like Rome, Milan, or even Palermo, with large ex-pat communities and English international schools, I'm the only English speaker in my local community. This is great…

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…

Creativity and mental health

The last two years have been tough on everyone. Our lives were disrupted, and we were forced to scale down our lives. Many people lost friends and family. Others are still suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. I don't want to harp on the negativity, but I, too, have been struggling. I have had problems…

10 of my favourite Italian movies to watch

People are always asking me for Italian-themed movie recommendations. So I'm going to post ten of my favourite movies. A totally random list of films I've come across in my journey through Italy. I've tried to avoid huge commercial successes and clichè building monsters as I'm a bit of a hipster and want to give…

Fashionable English

Sometimes, well, Italy is an awkward fit for me. Actually most times, which is ok, as I am generally self-conscious in everyday life. It is strange to think that someone genetically 100%  Italian would find life in Italy to be uncomfortable. I would be a sought-after show pony if there were a pedigree for Italian-ness.…

A Sicilian wedding baptism

It's wedding season in Sicily, which means the usual array of pretty spring brides and grooms. Many people finally get married after postponing their weddings for two years of Covid. While others, funnily enough, have decided to make Covid babies and then celebrate a wedding and baptism together. I'm sure my dear Sicilian grandparents would…

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…