Springtime postcards from Sicily

I've been spending my Easter break here in Sicily with friends and family trying to find a spark of energy to keep me going after a particularly devastating start to the year. I'm slowly getting back into things, trying to find a new routine. Easter for me was about day trips to the Nebrodi Mountains…

Secluded Sicily: Longi

Longi is a tiny mountain village perched literally on a precipice with one road in and one road out in between the two other rugged mountain towns of Galati Mamertino and Frazzano' Every time I visit I am amazed at how Sicilian’s were able to build a town in such an unwelcoming part of the…

Poetry inspired by Sicily: Sicilian DNA

  I live in Sicily because I fell in love with a Sicilian, but in reality, the love affair existed long before … I’ve been enamoured since birth,  Italy is imprinted on my DNA, my family and heritage has always been here connected to this place of endless human history my love of stories keeps…

A walk to the fig tree

In the summer Sicilian’s become like frugivorous animals living off the fruits produced by their gardens. So my husband, son and I are obliged to take a walk to the fig tree to gather up its bounty. The only problem is the tree is hidden deep below a steep precipice behind overgrown bushes and prickly…

The extravagant Tabacchere

  One of the most sumptuous fruits of the Sicilian summer has to be the Tabacchere, a strange little squashed furry peach packed with enormous flavour. I first saw these seemingly insignificant mini fruit at the fruit and vegetable stalls at the open air markets and took them as an inferior version of regular peaches.…

Hope you had a good summer …

I think I may have inadvertently led people to believe I had a wonderful summer lazing around the beach and traveling around Sicily. In reality I had a terrible summer, every time I tried to go to the beach it was friggin freezing and in August my mother in law spent the month in hospital…

Postcards from Sicily: Discovery

  Even if I dislike shopping around touristy type shops I am often surprised to find stunningly original items in amongst the tacky kitsch. Working my through I heart Sicily post cards, every possibly shaped lava sculpture, bamboo flutes and knickknacks I saw these little babies. A series of handcrafted tools used to pick those…

Sicilian word of the day: Scirocco

    The scirocco is an infernal African air current from the desert who whips up the heat in the Mediterranean to unbearable levels during the summer . If this hot wind is still the day is pleasant but if it is on the prowl it makes the air too hot to breathe. Someone who…

Postcards from Sicily: Bomboniere Passion

I'm developing a passion for the Italian and Sicilian flare for giving out bomboniere for every possible occasion. Over the last couple of year's we've received a few from weddings and now the birth one's have started up. This little ball of pink is for the latest little girl on the block. For the record…

Postcards from Sicily: Gethsemane

I've always loved Sicilian churches prolific use of mosaics. Last summer I got to the church of the Madonna of Tindari (ME) and managed to sneak a shot of this beautiful image of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. These mosaics are like living breathing operatic scenes filled with life and drama. I think I'll…

Picking up a Sicilian vocabulary

Lately I’ve noticed a new development with my language skills. I think I’m going native. Many missionaries from past centuries wrote of how after years of living with a foreign culture and language they have felt like a constant outsider until the day when they realise their tongue has somehow assimilate elements of the local…

Postcards from Sicily: Spring trying to poke its head out

The weather in Sicily and all over Italy has been terrible lately. Usually at this time of year we are already into the swing of spring. Here's hoping the spring will unexpectedly poke its head out like this cute little church at Martini a suburb of my little town Sinagra, Messina. Here's hoping for some…

5 things you probably didn’t know about Italy

1. Ask for a discount, cos you can! Its normal to ask for a discount on expensive items particularly jewelry, designer items and white goods. Ask for it, demand it and you will get it! 2. Be careful with technology GPS off the main roads and the autostrada has a tendency to take you off…

Secluded Sicily: Raccuja’s ghosts

I live a few minutes drive from the hometown of my maternal grandparents who migrated to Australia in the 1950’s. Visiting Raccuja is like seeing ghosts pass before my eyes, it’s a strange visceral experience. I grew up hearing my grandparents stories and it is emotional to find myself passing upon their footsteps. Even if…

E viva San Leone … E musica

This year I was fortunate enough to get to San Leone’s ‘festa’ at Longi (20th Feb) which I find is generally more traditional and particular then the one celebrated at Sinagra (even if I love them both!) I liked the solemn religiosity and playfulness of Longi’s interpretation of this Saint’s celebration. Not only does the…