North verses South in Italy: from stereotypes to rampant individualism

    Yes, there is a difference between Northern and Southern Italy; in fact, it took a major political and social movement to merge the different states of the Italian peninsula in the nineteenth century. The process began with the Congress of Vienna at the end of Napoleon’s reign in 1815 and continued with various…

Leading an authentic life in Sicily

My friends and family think I am totally insane to be living my life in Italy, they are waiting for me to come to my senses and move back to Australia, like I’ve been playing around for the past decade of my life. The truth is it’s been more than chasing a dream, I’m not…

Not quite a Del Borrello: reflections on an overgrown family tree

"Chieti mare" by Original uploader was Idéfix at nl.wikipedia - Originally from nl.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.   I have my surname thanks to my father, who is the dearest Del Borrello in my life, he is the sweetest man I know, always happy, accepting and tolerant…

Flowers and lights for our ancestors

November is a sombre time in Sicily, traditionally it’s not all jack o lanterns and candy rather its about taking flowers to the cemetery and lighting artificial lights instead of candles in memory of the dead. All souls and dearly held saints are prayed for in religious services in the Roman Catholic church and the…

Fall in Sicily

The beginning of Autumn in Sicily can be abrupt. The gradual changes from one season to the next are now a thing of the past, there are no more slightly shortening days or time for the leaves to go from greens, yellows, warm rusty reds or browns, now the fall begins with heavy rains and…

The toilet situation in Italy

***Warning this post contains images of Italian toilets, bad double entendre and Australian slang*** I have never understood the reason behind the lack of public toilets in major Italian cities as you would think it is a common courtesy to keep lovely, clean toilets for tourists and visitors. So what should anyone visiting do to…