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…

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…

Making your own Dolce Vita

The #dolcevitabloggers have chosen to explore the concept of the Dolce Vita in Italy. There is a fine line between loving and visiting the bel paese as a tourist and the reality of living here, in the search for your own personal sweet life. So cheers to Kelly from italianatheart.com, Jasmine from questadolcevita.com and Kristie of mammaprada.com for choosing…

The imagery of Italian language

The Italian language is so visual, it has an ability to take an image or object and use it as a metaphor for a something much greater than itself. In English it would be akin to the literary term metonymy (from the Greek change of name) which is the term for one thing as applied…

Sicilian Mountain Lessons

I’ve always been challenged by the mountainous landscape in Sicily. The boundless slopes disorient me, I have problems finding my bearings and the horizon is blocked out by them. When I go hiking down steep hillsides I am constantly holding on for dear life, grappling white-knuckled onto the flimsiest blade of grass. I’ve lost count…

Shifting family trees: Australia and being a foreigner in Sicily

Suburban Perth Western Australia has always been a dull place, the most isolated capital of the world it exists in a bubble of reclusiveness, its inhabitants toiling away from the rest of the world trying to lead a beautiful and idealistic life filled with sunshine and wealth. My Grandparents migrating from Sicily in the 1950’s…

Working for free and the arte di arrangarsi in Italy

This table on Wikipedia compares monthly salaries in different countries. Italy’s average wage is notably much less than most of the other wealthy or economically powerful European countries (such as France, Switzerland and Germany. The Nordic countries, in particular, have much more generous stipend levels). Italy looks pretty comfortable compared to the former Eastern bloc…

Coming back to Sicily: contrasting reflections

People love Italy, they fantasies about it, they want to live here but never realise how broken a place it is. It is slow in mentality, stubborn to change and frustrating for someone who is used to living in a younger faster moving, more efficient country. One day when the rest of the world is…

The complexity of Italy’s cheating heart

  I often exchange stories with other expats about the Italians who have lied and cheated us with an ease and nonchalance which is both infuriating and puzzling. Not to say other countries don’t have problems with corruption as the world is rife, but in most Anglo-Saxon countries a politician or public servant or any…

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…

Going home: an expat’s internal conflict

Every time I go home for a visit I get terribly excited, start making lists of what I want to do, who I need to see and what I should buy so I can make the most of my three months in Australia (as my Italian husband travels on a short tourist visa- I’m sure…

Postcards from Sicily: the end of Carnevale

The Sicilian Carnival is beginning to taper off at the end of February, the costumes, dancing and revelry officially comes to an end on the first Wednesday of Lent, known as Ash Wednesday the beginning of a period of sombre preparation for Easter. In these ever secular times some celebrations are extended to make the…

Postcards from Sicily: Icy blessing

From New Years to February my little part of Sicily has been blessed by snow. For me it is a blessing as I am Australian who had never seen snow until I moved to Italy in 2002, for those used to icy Northern Hemisphere winters I'm sure it's all like 'get over it will you.'…

Sicilian Impressions: History

Wherever you find yourself in Sicily, history haunts you and comes alive in a visceral sense. This slumbering knight in the Duomo at Noto, Syracuse tells us his story with effortlessness as if he is about to sit up on his crib and talk to us.

Searching for San Valentino

A skeptic Valentine As for me I think I am in serious danger of falling flat on my face here, you see I’ve never been the romantic type. I’m the one who encouraged my brother and his former girlfriend many years ago on Valentine’s day to fake a wedding proposal to get a free meal…