Postcards from Sicily: Ferragosto traffic with a view

Postcards from Sicily: the spirit of things

    There are literally hundreds of water fountains all over Italy gushing with water, Baroque details and sculpture. Often we are mesmerized by the immense works of art without seeing the cute little details. This grumpy little water god got my attention when he blew in my ear as I walked by the old…

Sicilian impressions: beauty in the details

    Often beauty is in the fine detail. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the immense works of art all over Italy, yet while trying to take in the whole you often miss the subtle aspects. This detail above the main door at the Duomo of Messina is as magnificent as the entire…

Insights into Ferragosto

Italy has an abundant amount of public holidays, ranging from the usual stuff like New Year’s day and padded out with things like Liberation Day (25th April), International workers day (1st May) and Republic Day (2nd June). Not to mention a fine cavalcade of religious celebrations including the Epiphany (6th January), All Saint’s Day (1st…

Quirky questions about life in Italy

Today I want to tackle your questions about living in Italy full-time. To be honest I haven’t been asked many questions so I got my virtual and real Facebook friends to send me some random ones, which I’ll answer below.   Maryann asks: How is the plumbing and the water? Well, the average Italian bathroom…

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…

Blogging around the world: Multifarious Meanderings

Next up on the Blogging Around the World bandwagon is a delightful chit chat with Joanna from Multifarious Meanderings who enlightens us about family, humor, life and misadventures in the Hérault region of France. Joanna says on her about page that: Multifarious Meanderings is simply an opportunity for her to write up and share a few…

Blogging around the world: Maldives Dreamer

I’ve always dreamt of running off to a desert island for a holiday on the beach, snorkeling and eating seafood. To my surprise I found a blogger who does that regularly and has transformed it all into a beautiful blog. Irene from Maldives Dreamer lives a regular life in Norway, traveling to the Maldives to…

Blogging around the world: Homage to Barcelona

I’m really pleased to begin posting some interviews from my favourite travel and expat blogs as there are so many awesome bloggers out there that help you to virtually travel via the web. Our first stop is Barcelona, Spain which is the inspiration for English expat, search engine marketing consultant and super nice guy, Rob…

An Expat’s Open Letter to Babbo Natale

    Dear Father Christmas,   As you know every Christmas I experience away from my family and friends is always tinged with guilt and melancholy. Even if the blessings of my children and new friends distract me from dwelling on negativity. Such is the life of an expat.   I don’t particularly want any…

The Sicilian art of the incomplete

It is common in Sicily to see people living in unfinished houses or apartments with exposed bricks, cement and reinforced steel poking out dangerously like rusty modern sculptures on roofs left behind as it to say: ‘I could build a second storey if I feel like it, ora vediamo ...' Yes the quintessential loitering phrase…

Literary Islands: Giovanni Verga

  Most language students who study Italian at university level are familiar with Giovanni Verga as his short stories in the simple realist style are a perfect introduction to Italian Literature as they are easy for first year students to follow. Verga’s short tale Cavalleria Rusticana was made into an opera libretto which together with…

A coffee temptation

I’ve always been a coffee drinker. I started off with instant stuff, then graduated to frothy cappuccino, milky latte and now I live in Italy it’s one hundred percent hardcore espresso. I briefly flirted with tea drinking in my youth, in the anglo saxon tradition of taking afternoon tea, so common in England loving Australia…