Sicilian Impressions: Castello Nelson

One of the most fascinating historical sites I have discovered in Sicily is the Castello di Maniace (also known as the Castello Nelson) outside the small agricultural town of Maniace in the extensive plain between Bronte and Randazzo a city literally at the feet of Mount Etna. Admiral Horatio Nelson was given the estate of…

Sicilian Impressions: Ficarra

Sicilian villages are amazingly steadfast and stoic. I am constantly impressed by the way they have been constructed a top the mountains in the most unlikely places as if they have always been a part of the landscape. This is Ficarra in the province of Messina which casually lounges on the Nebrodi mountains looking out to…

Sicilian Impressions: Wind turbines

Flamboyant Italian art critic, politician and intellectual Vittorio Sgarbi has criticized the use of wind turbines in some of the most picturesque mountains in southern Italy. Sgarbi says they have ruined the natural beauty and wasted millions of Euro without producing much energy, going as far as to suggest links with organized crime. I tend…

Sicilian Impressions: Beaches

In the middle of the winter I always get nostalgic about summer and the beach. I have always had a difficult time with Sicilian beaches and their rocky nature, I miss sandy Australian beaches. I like the sparse rustic nature of the coastline which gives me the sense the beach belongs to me. I also have…

Sicilian Impressions: Taormina

Today Taormina is a major tourist Mecca in Sicily but it was once a place of decadence attracting many artists, writers and bohemians alike, inspired by its isolation, beauty and ancient quality. In amongst the gaudy tourist stores there are many small artist studios and speciality stores which reflect the creativity and artistry of Sicilians,…

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…

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…

Blogging around the world with Karolyn from Distant Drumlin

I have been dipping into Distant Drumlin a blog by Karolyn Cooper for quite a while now as there is a fascinating journey behind it and Karolyn has led me into the world of many other excellent international expat experiences and bloggers. The creator of Distant Drumlin returned to the UK after living in India…

Sicilian Postcards: Every window has a view

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

Postcards from Sicily: Oregano

This summer I photographed this Sicilian Oregano drying in the sun. Oregano grows wild in amongst the Mediterranean scrub of Sicily and is gathered and saved to add flavor to meats and other dishes. As I was taking this photo I was struck by the rustic almost dirty look of the rocks and the herbs,…

Postcards from Sicily: maccheroni

  Sicilian maccheroni, are the ultimate feast. Served with rich Bolognese sauces for every occasion from birthdays to Christmas to New Year. Not for the faint hearted ... your waistline will suffer for them but your taste buds will be in heaven. Maccheroni season is just around the corner ...