Sicilian Patron Saints

  Sicilian people have a unique rapport with religion and superstition which binds the two seemingly conflicting doctrines together. The connection between the two can be traced back to the struggle the early Catholic Church in Sicily had against pagan religions. The Roman Catholic Church always had a tremendous amount of power over Sicilian’s spiritual, cultural…

Drawn to Sicily

All Sicilians have this blinding obsessive love of there Sicilia which exists beyond any hardships, lack of education, lack of economic betterment or even famines which have occurred on the island, everyone holds onto their beloved Sicily despite everything. Of course until they were pushed away from their homeland when things on the island became…

Exploring Taormina in five photos: Santa Caterina

Thanks to Pip from Sustainability Soapbox for nominating me to do the five photos/five stories challenge. I’ll be sharing five images from Sicily with particular stories attached to them. This summer I found myself visiting Taormina twice after having two different groups of guests to visit who both expressed a desire to see this famous…

Postcards from Sicily: the end of Carnevale

The Sicilian Carnival is beginning to taper off at the end of February, the costumes, dancing and revelry officially comes to an end on the first Wednesday of Lent, known as Ash Wednesday the beginning of a period of sombre preparation for Easter. In these ever secular times some celebrations are extended to make the…

Postcards from Sicily: Icy blessing

From New Years to February my little part of Sicily has been blessed by snow. For me it is a blessing as I am Australian who had never seen snow until I moved to Italy in 2002, for those used to icy Northern Hemisphere winters I'm sure it's all like 'get over it will you.'…

Sicilian Impressions: History

Wherever you find yourself in Sicily, history haunts you and comes alive in a visceral sense. This slumbering knight in the Duomo at Noto, Syracuse tells us his story with effortlessness as if he is about to sit up on his crib and talk to us.

Searching for San Valentino

A skeptic Valentine As for me I think I am in serious danger of falling flat on my face here, you see I’ve never been the romantic type. I’m the one who encouraged my brother and his former girlfriend many years ago on Valentine’s day to fake a wedding proposal to get a free meal…

Sicilian Impressions: Maschere

Carnival time in Italy is filled with endless fried desserts, parades, tricks and masquerade. The masks can be beautiful like the ones at Venice’s world famous Carnevale or terribly ugly like these. When you see one do not be afraid, they are harmless they only want to be offered a glass of wine or mime…

Sicilian Impressions: Art

Sicily is filled with delicate pieces of art always where you least expect them. You will find intricate statues in dusty churches, decaying statuettes in the nooks of decrepit Palazzi. Fine art is always a surprise even if it is so terribly neglected by a country which is overburdened by an aesthetic abundance, sadly without…

Sicilian Impressions: Belvedere

Stopping at a 'belvedere' or lookout on the side of a Sicilian mountain road will give you a spectacular surprise and a sense of the expansive nature of Sicily. On a clear day you will feel like you are in the heavens looking out onto a new world. The closest belvedere to me looks out…

Sicilian Impressions: Naso

Naso, is one of those feisty Sicilian towns, perched high up on a seemingly precarious peak, it looks down the valley at Sinagra and hauntingly peers down at the cars driving down the mountains towards the coast. Literally  Naso is 'nose' in Italian and it would be more aptly named 'head,' but it is surely…

Sicilian Impressions: Landscape

Sicilians are at one with their landscape, their towns and houses peek out from behind the vegetation like large boulders which seem to have always been there.

Sicilian Impressions: By road

I cannot reiterate enough the joys of exploring Sicily by car, it is easy to zig zag the island through mountains and valleys, weaving your way through endless small towns. Sicily by road means effortlessly experiencing the ins and outs of the islands landscape and stopping at a local roadside Trattoria or family run restaurant…

Sicilian Impressions: Winter

I used to think visiting Sicily in the winter is a sad and cold way of experiencing the island but I have changed my mind. I love the feeling of having the place to myself. The lava filled countryside near Etna is infernal in the summer and so the wintry months offer the perfect time…

Sicilian Impressions: Etna

Mount Etna is the most active volcano in Europe and is my current fascination. Sicilian writers have the burning heart of Mongibello deep within their hearts, so much so they barely acknowledge it in their words. For someone new to the island like this once Unwilling Expat, the mountain offers endless images over the ever…