Sagre and Feste in each Sicilian province: Catania

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: 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 things to keep in mind while planning a trip to Italy

  Don’t come in August I’ve said this many times, you can visit throughout the year so don’t come in the most overcrowded, hot and humid part of the year when most Italians are on summer holidays you will be uncomfortable and will never have an authentic experience. September will be just as beautiful, autumn/fall…

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…

Colours and tales from Sicily

I use my camera like I’d use a notebook. recording little details and notes, things I’ve noticed or want to remember. I photograph small things that catch my eye, a particular design or pattern, something that is unusual to. It could be a texture that catches my eye or the way the sunlight hits a…

Leonforte

Goethe once said to have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy, for Sicily is the clue to everything. But to understand Sicily, you need to go to its geographical centre because the key to the island's identity is there. The province of Enna is known as the belly button…

Sicilian Provinces

Each province in Sicily has its unique landscape, dialect and cuisine. They are all quite diverse to experience. Palermo Palermo is one of the greatest cities of art and history in Europe. In the Victorian period, royal families would choose to holiday in Palermo. The city is filled with endless churches, historical neighbourhoods, palaces, and…

Bitesize pieces of Sicily

There are many ways of exploring Sicily, from visiting the bigger cities and tourist centres, food and winery tours or seeing the major historical sites, from Greek temples to endless museums.  Logistically moving around Sicily is difficult simply because of the mountainous landscape, poor infrastructure, lack of reliable public transport and confusing or absent signage.…

My Father in law and his lawyer

My father-in-law looks like the classical Sicilian Mafioso. When I first met him, I found him intimidating, with his mumbling voice, imposing figure and well-kept moustache. As I spent more time with my new family, I discovered a doting grandfather. He helps his family in any way possible. He has a commanding presence over his…

Slow paced but dangerous

Life at the in-laws is slow-paced but pleasant. Their house is a few kilometres out of Sinagra, following the river inland. Taking a left turn up from the road parallel to the seasonal river bed brings you to a steep climb where the road turns left again abruptly on a terrifying hairpin curve. The steering…

Earning a nickname

There are no skeletons in the closet in small-town Sicily, as the broader population identifies every individual member with distinct soprannome or nicknames. These simple and often coarse caricatures have existed for generations and can pinpoint members of a particular family, or are earned after a significant event, distinctive physical feature or personality trait. A…

A Sicilian feast

The feast starts with the still-warm bread from the village bakery at Floresta. Sliced into thick pieces, they are quickly snatched up to fend off the growing hunger. A bundle of serviettes, plastic plates, knives, forks and glasses are scattered around the table, enough for a rustic meal. Two large four-litre bottles of wine, one…

Slipping in from the window

Sitting at my kitchen table at my Sinagra home, I open the window on the balcony from the kitchen, which peers out onto a dirty grey wall. The wall is of another house which I can see directly in front of my window. There is another balcony jetting out of the smaller place, basically three…