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…

Hunting near Capizzi

Capizzi is clumsily spilt on a high hill; its stone houses have been plucked out of the Middle Ages. The streets are made of tightly paved stones and tiny dwellings like huts huddled together to create a mosaic in different shades of charcoal.  The road snakes up the hill to Capizzi reaching a peak at the head of…

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…

First and lasting impressions of Palermo: stereotypes

Image from Carmen Laeuzza unsplash.com Looking above the street level on Via della Libertà, I see high rise 'Palazzi' buildings and elegant apartment buildings all along the road as far down as I can see. The street is lined with multi-storey buildings with intricate stonework, some with particular wrought iron designs and glass panels. They…

A taste of local politics

This year it is election time in my small Sicilian town. I've never been one to follow politics on any level unless it has to do with a particular issue or social problem. I can never muster the energy to pursue it. Yet, I am constantly surprised at how deeply political everyone is in Italy.…

The Fertility of Sicily

An old Sicilian mantra says in Sicily there are only good or bad seasons. In a place of few subtleties, there is only the bountiful or frugal and little in between. Sicilians are born out of their land and are shaped by the seasons the landscape creates. A Siciliano will hibernate in winter and interact…

AC Milan madness

  I don't follow sports or sports clubs, but since moving and living in Italy, I have been exposed to the culture of Italian soccer. Here the sport of soccer is a way of life. Who you follow on the soccer field will determine who your friends are, and you will form connections and alliances…

Italian coffee culture shock

  The last time I was home in Australia I became a victim to reverse culture shock. It’s a very strange affliction for an ex-pat living in Italy as usually every day you are battling tiny little moments of friction between yourself and your new home, but slowly you begin to adjust and don’t think…

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

  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 you will be uncomfortable and will never have an authentic experience. September will be just as beautiful, autumn/fall…

Saint Leo is back

May is usually the month when the inhabitants of Sinagra have their annual appointment with their Saintly patron of St Leo. It has been two years since the festivities have been allowed to occur, thanks to Corona, so this year's 8th of May celebrations were filled with emotions for the Sinagrese. I can honestly say…

First and lasting impressions of Palermo: Louis Vuitton

Sicily is such a beautifully textured place; many layers of history have been placed, one on top of the other. Each period of history leaves spaces and gaps where you can see the remnants of many different stories. These fragments are intriguing as they lead you towards many histories, stories, and endless possibilities. Each place…