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…

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…

Short and sweet classical history

I'm gradually adding to my Reading Trincaria reading list and so I will be posting a regular quick Sicilian themed book review during the week to gradually extend our Sicily related reads. This week I'd like to share one of the first books I ever read about this magical island, a true classic which helped…

The Ultimate Sicilian History Lover

John Julius Norwich: The Normans in the South 1016-1130 The Kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194. Sicily: A short history from the Greeks to Cosa Nostra. Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History The Middle Sea: A history of the Mediterranean John Julius Norwich’s series dedicated to the Normans of Sicily is the ultimate Sicilian…

Poetry inspired by Sicily: A place of elephants, lions and bears

My grandparent's gardens are gone like so many poetic laments about lost paradises nothing of their cultivated land where father, son, mother and daughter lived the flowering trees are a memory recalled by a dying generation no more sustenance or song only the shadows of a once fertile island Ancient olive groves gradually enveloped by…

Seeking Sicily an interview with John Keahey

Sicily’s rich history, culture and literature are filled with endless stories, and so one writer or interpreter visiting here will never come up with a definitive interpretation, each experience will remain unique. Sicily has many faces and reflections, depending on where and when you visit and who you meet, it is impossible ever to finish…

Sicily: A Literary guide for travellers

  Andrew and Suzanne Edwards are both accomplished writers and translators with a deep admiration for Sicily, their guide to the island is a detailed love letter to the history and culture of this place. Together they trace an outline of Sicily through its rich literary history creating an intriguing portrait of this ancient place.…

Syracuse: City of legends an interview with Jeremy Dummett

Jeremy Dummett is a lover of history, a dedicated Italophile and a frequent visitor to Sicily. It was while on a trip to Syracuse in 2005 that the seeds of an idea were planted. Dummett became interested in the history of ancient Siracusa, he discovered an immense amount of literature referring to this city and…

Trinàcria: A tale of Bourbon Sicily an interview with Anthony Di Renzo

One of the most surprising discoveries on my journey to know and understand Sicily better has been Anthony Di Renzo’s book Trinàcria (Guernica, Toronto 2013) which eloquently evokes the spirit of Sicily. Di Renzo gathers threads from Bourbon Sicily through the periods most vibrant characters and to bring their energy back to life. With the…

The poetry of Theresa Maggio

One of the most surprising finds in my journey into Sicily was the discovery of the works of American journalist Theresa Maggio. Her concise poetic prose distils the true essence of Sicily in an almost intoxicating style. Maggio's intimate memoirs are delicate little stories which distil the essence of the character of the island. From…

Conversations with Elio Vittorini and his critics

Elio Vittorini’s Conversations in Sicily has been on my reading list for a while and I was delighted to find the original english translation in the Amazon Kindle store compete with an introduction from Ernest Hemingway so I immediately snapped it up. However for some unknown reason it was never delivered and after several emails…

A journey to the Volcano with Venero Armanno

    Venero Armanno's trio of Sicilian themed novels is a significant accomplishment, written masterfully by the son of Sicilian migrants with a powerful dedication to Sicily. The volcano is a novel of emotion, passion and fire set in the shadowlands around Etna and tells us of the epic journey of Emilio Aquila. The book…

A Sicilian Summer with Brian Johnston

I’ve always been a lover of the travel writing genre, ever since my mother gave me a paperback of Bill Bryson’s ‘Neither here nor there’ which took me backpacking through Europe before I left high school. Since then I have made my way through many travel writing classics from Paul Theroux to Bruce Chatwin. Many…

Literary Islands: Giuseppe di Lampedusa

Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard (Il gattopardo) is my favorite Sicilian novel of all time. The sumptuous world of the Prince of Salina is a precious link to Sicily’s baroque aristocracy. It also inspired one of the best international cinematic productions with the classic 1963 film adaptation directed by Luchino Visconti starring Burt Lancaster as…