The poetry of Theresa Maggio

One of the most surprising finds in my journey into Sicily was the discovery of the works of American journalist Theresa Maggio. Her concise poetic prose distils the true essence of Sicily in an almost intoxicating style. Maggio's intimate memoirs are delicate little stories which distil the essence of the character of the island. From…

Conversations with Elio Vittorini and his critics

Elio Vittorini’s Conversations in Sicily has been on my reading list for a while and I was delighted to find the original english translation in the Amazon Kindle store compete with an introduction from Ernest Hemingway so I immediately snapped it up. However for some unknown reason it was never delivered and after several emails…

Sicilian’s flare for uttering profanities

When I was a child I had an Uncle who was terribly capricious, a real joker (he still is until this day) and he took great pleasure in teaching my brother and I all the colourful Italian swear words possible.  My Uncle thought it was all terribly funny and hoped we’d use them in front…

Literary Islands: Giuseppe di Lampedusa

Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard (Il gattopardo) is my favorite Sicilian novel of all time. The sumptuous world of the Prince of Salina is a precious link to Sicily’s baroque aristocracy. It also inspired one of the best international cinematic productions with the classic 1963 film adaptation directed by Luchino Visconti starring Burt Lancaster as…

Literary Islands: Vitaliano Brancati

I stumbled upon Vitaliano Brancati quite by accident in a bookstore at Messina. I was attracted by the title of one his books, I discovered after he was quite a prolific novelist and later his most famous novel Il Bel Antonio was developed into a movie staring Marcello Mastroianni, which became a classic of Italian…

10 books to read instead of visiting Sicily

I’m big on reading and the journey books can create in your life. If you can’t travel a book can give you an authentic experience without leaving your armchair. Sometimes travelling isn't always possible but this is no reason not to experience a place through its literature. Sicily has inspired many locals and foreigners with…