Italian Song Challenge Day 5: Ligabue

https://youtu.be/IUWtAUKYmAQ Luciano Ligabue born in Emilia Romagna fell into the music business after trying various odd jobs until he formed an amateur band writing his own songs. After being in a couple of other groups, he was introduced to fellow singer-songwriter Pierangelo Bertoli, who included one of Ligabue’s songs in his new album. After twenty…

Italian Song Challenge Day 4: Levante

https://youtu.be/XNGL_5N4_ZU Claudia Lagona, better known as Levante, is an Italian singer-songwriter, writer and model. She became famous in the 2010s after recording four albums with successful singles and collaborations with other Italian singers. She wrote and sung with the likes of Gianni Morandi, Irene Grande, Max Gazze, the Kolors, Tiziano Ferro and Carmen Consoli. In…

Italian Song Challenge Day 3: Jovanotti

https://youtu.be/uvngBmhlI1o Italian singer-songwriter and rapper Jovanotti (real name Lorenzo Cherubini) has been a part of the Italian music scene since the late 1980s. His early music was a mixture of hip hop, rap and disco which was immensely popular. After sixteen studio and remix albums, his style has evolved and embodies elements of funk, world…

Italian Song Challenge Day 2: Gianni Morandi

https://youtu.be/O5Q_uHsqIfI Gianni Morandi is an Italian pop culture icon. He began his career as a clean-cut baby faced pop-rock artist in the ’60s and has never stopped performing or collaborating since. Throughout his career, he has sold more than 50 million records. Italian’s love his energetic, down to earth personality and some of his songs…

Saint Leo’s Festival day at Sinagra

Today Sinagra celebrates its Patron Saint Leone Bishop of Catania, born at Ravenna during medieval times. He was famous for his compassion and works of charity for the poor. But above all St Leo was a conqueror of false religions and idolatry. In his sermon at Sinagra today, the Catholic Bishop of Patti Guglielmo Giombanco…

For the love of Sicilian markets

It’s no secret I’m a fan of open-air markets. I love trawling through every stand exploring what I can find. My blog is filled with photos of African wood carvings, crafty jewellery and fun discoveries, endless market randomness and textures. I enjoy the colours and the unexpected. A Sicilian market contains everything from fresh produce,…

The Giudei of San Fratello: part 2

During the Giudei's procession, I am introduced to a local academic and former mayor of San Fratello, Professor Salvatore Mangione. He offers me a drink at a small bar, together with other acquaintances. This gives me a chance to get off the crowded street and out of the confusion. I stand at the bar for…

The inspiration of Sicily

Sicily is a perfect place for lovers of historical novels, it is such an evocative place, bursting with the energy of a palpable history which seeps into everything on the island. In fact, Sicily has inspired many English authors to write beautiful fiction. The Sicilian migrant diaspora is also one of the most creative spawning…

A list of Italian themed movies and books for all seasons

I thought I'd recommend a few books and movies with a bit of an Italian theme. But as is usual in Italy, I've gone and overindulged with the entertainment. Quindi sono guai! So now you are in for it! Get ready for a mega list of movies and great reads from a lifetime lover of…

10 things to keep in mind while planning a trip to Italy

1) 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 it will be uncomfortable and you will never have an authentic experience. September will be just as beautiful,…

Sicilian Splendors: discovering the secret places that speak to the heart

  I discovered the work of John Keahey by accident a few years ago when his first book about Sicily (Seeking Sicily: a cultural journey through myth and reality in the heart of the Mediterranean) randomly popped up on my Amazon search for books on my usual trawl through the internet for inspiration. After a…

Rebuilding Messina

  The most powerful recorded earthquake to hit Europe struck Messina at about 5:20 AM local time. Its epicentre was under the Strait of Messina, which separates the island of Sicily from the province of Calabria, the “toe” of Italy’s geographical “boot.” The main shock lasted for more than 20 seconds, and its magnitude reached 7.5 on the Richter scale. Ten minutes…

A newly restored treasure of Sicilian Art Nouveau

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele III at Messina was built from 1924 to 1929 by architect Camillo Puglisi Allegra who was inspired by the ornate seventeenth-century Sicilian baroque style which dominates the island, particularly in the Val di Noto area of South Eastern Sicily. The beautiful Galleria has recently been reopened after many decades of abandonment, and in the…

Sicily in November

The first and second of November in Sicily are sombre, holy and sad days dedicated to Saints and dead souls. A month of meteorological transition, which has been causing havoc all over Italy this year (2018) with extensive flooding in Veneto and Alto Adige. In the south, there is a flux between the hot scirocco…

The historical heart of Messina

Piazza Duomo at the heart of Messina’s historic centre and is the focus of the city’s social and cultural life. A few minutes walk from the port, train station, post office, university and shopping districts the piazza is wonderfully positioned. Lined with gracious palazzi, cute bars, restaurants and shady trees it is a beautiful spot…