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…

Italian Song Challenge Day 1: Rino Gaetano

https://youtu.be/XB3TfBXUOKw This song is literally a classic of Italian pop. Whenever it is heard on the radio, it’s the kind of song that will result in an immediate singalong. Everyone knows and loves this anthem to positivity and is beloved tune dedicated to the Italian nature of seeing the positive despite any setbacks in life.…

A little music therapy during lockdown in Sicily

Of all the tools I have used to help me through this challenging lockdown time in Italy apart from friends and family, has been music. Music, with its unique kind of magic and, has been the one thing that has really helped to lift my spirits. After endless restless nights filled with fears, nightmares and…

The Stone Garden

Shaking off the car sickness brought on by the continuous curves of the drive, nearly three hours from my little town in Messina province, thanks to the delays from the tourist traffic for the Infiorata. I stretch my legs as the bus drops me off near the public gardens in front of Piazzale Marconi a…

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,…

Springtime postcards from Sicily

I've been spending my Easter break here in Sicily with friends and family trying to find a spark of energy to keep me going after a particularly devastating start to the year. I'm slowly getting back into things, trying to find a new routine. Easter for me was about day trips to the Nebrodi Mountains…

Secluded Sicily: Longi

Longi is a tiny mountain village perched literally on a precipice with one road in and one road out in between the two other rugged mountain towns of Galati Mamertino and Frazzano' Every time I visit I am amazed at how Sicilian’s were able to build a town in such an unwelcoming part of the…

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 Giudei of San Fratello: part 1

San Fratello is perched high up in the rambling Sicilian highlands, nesting itself in the crown of the Nebrodi Mountains, which run along the Tyrrhenian coast towards Palermo. The road on the way to the town negotiates its way through the mountains like an elaborate obstacle course; every car is climbing up navigates hairpin curves…

10 Spectacular Easter Celebrations in Sicily

Santa Pasqua in Sicily is filled with ancient rites and traditions which are as colourful and variegated as the island itself. The week leading up to Easter is brimming with religious celebrations, food preparations, processions and parades. Each festival is part of an elaborate pageant mixing religion and paganism in the festivities which mark the…

Poetry inspired by Sicily: In Ogni Paese

  In every paese there is an energy filled with the spirit of young & old paesani Every paese has its old palazzi, a Chiesa Madre, held together by the perspiration of local priests. In every paese, children run to catechism bounding, yelling and jumping as only youth does. Every paese has its drunks, madmen,…