Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Messina

Throughout the year, Sicily offers the occasion to enjoy the best local food and traditions for locals and visitors. A town or city's Sagra will feature a particular speciality celebrated and usually consumed for only a few Euros. Some people hire a camper, particularly in the summer and go from sagra to sagra, depending on…

Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Caltanissetta

Throughout the year, Sicily offers the occasion to enjoy the best local food and traditions for locals and visitors. A town or city's Sagra will feature a particular speciality celebrated and usually consumed for only a few Euros. Some people hire a camper, particularly in the summer and go from sagra to sagra, depending on…

Food and religious festivals in Sicily this August

August is a month filled with endless Sagre and Feste in a series of celebrations which fill the table with food tasting and patron saint holidays. Most Italians have their annual summer holidays this month, so things are particularly hectic. August in Italy means the thermometer hits its peak. The humid Italo summer closes down…

10 More Food Festivals in Sicily

Sicily has a wonderfully variegated cuisine; its plate is filled with influences from all around the Mediterranean, from the Middle East to North Africa, Greece and many more. There is great pride in preparing local specialities and showing off the abundant talent of each chef. Like in most of Italy, each region, even town from…

Messina: the city of mythology

Even though Messina battles the usual problems of a big city in Sicily, it is much more cosmopolitan and laid back than the other provincial capitals. What attracts me most to Messina is the unusual mixture of mythology and legend, which intertwines with the city's history to create an intoxicating and alluring tapestry. As is…

The trials of raising a bilingual child in small-town Italy

I'm raising my child to speak English in Italy, not just anywhere in Italy but precisely in a small town in Sicily. Unlike the major cities on the peninsula like Rome, Milan, or even Palermo, with large ex-pat communities and English international schools, I'm the only English speaker in my local community. This is great…

10 Feste Patronale in Sicilia

Every town and city in Italy has its own Saintly patron or protector which has its own dedicated festa or celebration during the year with associated religious processions and events. In Sicily alone, there are three hundred and ninety town halls which means many different variations in Saint day celebrations.   Apart from the religious…

10 of my favourite Italian-themed books

People are always asking me for Italian book recommendations and after I recently posted my favourite movies I knew I will have to also write a list of book recommendations. I've tried to avoid huge commercial successes and clichè building monsters as I want to give everyone something different and challenging to read. So excuse…

10 of my favourite Italian movies to watch

People are always asking me for Italian-themed movie recommendations. So I'm going to post ten of my favourite movies. A totally random list of films I've come across in my journey through Italy. I've tried to avoid huge commercial successes and clichè building monsters as I'm a bit of a hipster and want to give…

Fashionable English

Sometimes, well, Italy is an awkward fit for me. Actually most times, which is ok, as I am generally self-conscious in everyday life. It is strange to think that someone genetically 100%  Italian would find life in Italy to be uncomfortable. I would be a sought-after show pony if there were a pedigree for Italian-ness.…

Mata and Grifone

  Sicily is famous for its ceramics, designed in the classic Maiolica glazed style with delicate baroque patterns. The most original pieces and those who stimulate the most interest from visitors are the Moorish head designs, which consist of pairs of pots, cups or jars which depict a fair-skinned woman and a man with distinctly…

First and lasting impressions of Palermo: stereotypes

Image from Carmen Laeuzza unsplash.com Looking above the street level on Via della Libertà, I see high rise 'Palazzi' buildings and elegant apartment buildings all along the road as far down as I can see. The street is lined with multi-storey buildings with intricate stonework, some with particular wrought iron designs and glass panels. They…

A taste of local politics

This year it is election time in my small Sicilian town. I've never been one to follow politics on any level unless it has to do with a particular issue or social problem. I can never muster the energy to pursue it. Yet, I am constantly surprised at how deeply political everyone is in Italy.…

How to eat like an Italian

I recently saw an image on Facebook from a supposedly Italian restaurant in Australia. I was reminded how different perceived Italian cuisine is very different from authentic Italian food prepared and consumed in Italy.  For example, Italians would never put pasta together with crumbed meat on the same plate. You will never see meatballs on…

Saint Leo is back

May is usually the month when the inhabitants of Sinagra have their annual appointment with their Saintly patron of St Leo. It has been two years since the festivities have been allowed to occur, thanks to Corona, so this year's 8th of May celebrations were filled with emotions for the Sinagrese. I can honestly say…