Sicilian Impressions: Insects

Sicily is close to Africa in a geographical and historical sense. The island’s cuisine is dappled by Arab influences, open air markets in most major cities are reminiscent of Moroccan bazaars and the scirocco wind often whips up dry air from the Sahara. Another African element of the island are the strange insects you discover,…

Sicilian Impressions: Mountains

As a stranger to the mountains I have been challenged by Sicily’s predominate rocky landscape over the years. It is fascinating to observe the Sicilian peaks, their changing faces which recall stark Irish hills or Scottish highlands. In his now historical travelogue 'Sea and Sardinia,' D.H Lawrence complained of Sicily’s ‘peaky confinement’ preferring the wider…

Sicilian Impressions: Cannoli

Sicilian desserts are world famous but the most decadent has to be deep fried cannoli tubes which are filled with ricotta or fresh custard cream. They are a special treat and are often given as gifts for Christmas and Easter. The empty golden shells are tiny works of art ready to be filled with sweetness.

Sicilian Impressions: Paese

My little Paese or Italian town is suffering through a dull time, thanks to the economic crisis. The piazza seems empty and for now there is not much movement. But when the sun comes out and the light of the people illuminates the gloom it is outstanding. Here's to shining through the darkness ...

Sicilian Impressions: Snow

I'm kicking off 2015 with a series of photographic posts titled Sicilian impressions, which illustrate my tiny piece of the intricate mosaic which is Sicily. Images from my personal exploration of small towns, landscape, landmarks, culture and the delicate little stories surrounding them. Over the New Year we had a cold snap here and the…

Blogging around the world with Kate from Driving Like a Maniac

This year on Blogging around the World we have been to Barcelona with Rob Dobson on Homage to Barcelona, to the Maldives with Irene from Maldives Dreamer, Saudi Arabia and around the globe with Tahira on Tahira's Shenanigans, enjoyed some fun tid bits from France with Joanna of Multifarious Meanderings, Florence with Misty at Surviving…

A Christmas song going around in my head

I love how children are so easily infected with the Christmas spirit. My son has prepared for his Christmas play at school over the past couple of weeks, spontaneously bursting into song and looking forward to speaking his part at the microphone. He even made me download some songs, so we have been ‘jingle bell…

The humble Panettone

I grew up eating Panettone, every Christmas, at my Sicilian grandparents place it was traditional fare to cut slices, for afternoon tea, of this gigantic aromatic Christmas cake filled with sultanas, dried lemon and orange zest. Every year that Panettone deceived me with it’s light and fluffy appearance, I’d bite into it’s tall and slender…

Sicilian Mercatini di Natale

I have always been a sucker for Italian open air markets, it is wonderfully civilized to go out once a week to buy your fresh fruit and vegetables, local produce and on special occasions like Christmas pick up cute little gifts, antiques and fashion. I am always on the look out for a special gift…

A tasteful introduction to Sicilian food

Without the luxury of a twelve-month gourmet tour, I’d like to offer you a brief appetizer of my own little piece of Italy, Sicily whose cuisine shows off its history and location at the centre of the Mediterranean. The most important thing to remember is that all Italians take food very seriously and sustenance is officially…

Not quite a Del Borrello: reflections on an overgrown family tree

"Chieti mare" by Original uploader was Idéfix at nl.wikipedia - Originally from nl.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.   I have my surname thanks to my father, who is the dearest Del Borrello in my life, he is the sweetest man I know, always happy, accepting and tolerant…

Sicilian Postcards: Every window has a view

There is nothing to it, every window in Sicily has a view.  

Sicily’s most intriguing museums

There are literally hundreds of museums in Sicily as humanity has made its home here since prehistoric times. You can get lost in amongst the limitless exhibitions of ancient Greek artefacts, fossils and ceramics and risk museum burnout. The best way to avoid exorbitant museum visitation is to select a few which spark a particular…

What is happening above our heads?

The terrifying sound of a jet roaring over our heads is becoming a regular occurrence. It is a military exercise but I imagine the terror of it speeding towards a real mission. The nightmare of hearing a fleet of such monsters heading towards you announcing death in life’s final moments, a chilling thought which haunts…

Don’t quite move to Sicily, yet …

I recently got an email from a woman who was contemplating moving to Sicily from the US as she desired a change in her life and felt connected to her Sicilian heritage. She was looking for some advice and here is what I said to her: Thanks so much for your email, I feel privileged…