Postcards from Sicily: Winter

This winter has been disappointing for me, no snow for Christmas or New Years. Less money thanks to the Economic crisis and new taxes to pay in 2014. Cloudy times in wintry Sicily.

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…

The inspiration of Etna

  I’ve been wanting to post about my visits to Etna and how the volcano has always been a rich source of inspiration for me. Her latest eruptions have given me the motivation to get to writing about her.   Yes to the Sicilian’s Etna, is very much a ‘she,’ a strong female symbol of…

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…

I morticini Halloween in Sicily

According to the Roman Catholic traditions in Sicily the first two days of November are known as ‘All Saints day' and 'All Souls day' (respectively dedicated to  the churches’ canonized Saints and the deceased). As with most traditions they have become colourfully interpreted by popular culture and anticipated by the thirty first of October, good…

Why do Sicilians fear Air conditioning?

I recently met a lovely Canadian lady who was complaining about the lack of air conditioning in Sicily. I had totally forgotten why Sicilian’s and Italian’s in general are so anti artificial cooling systems in the summer. I have passed through so many humid summers it must have fried my memory when it comes to…

The humble water fountain

Italy is a country with an abundance of water, where you find beautifully refreshing water fountains with drinkable water for everyone even in the biggest cities. The result is the beautiful art work that is used to celebrate the gift of water which we can see throughout Italy. The water fountain becomes an elaborate altar,…

Bad mannered Italian’s

It’s official Italian kids are the most bad mannered while overseas. Thanks to a recent report from ANSA Italy (on ansa.it) Italian children on vacation are the least civilised in Europe, according to a survey conducted in 500 European hotels.   According to the report the worst offenders were children from Milan and Rome followed…

Tremors

     Italy has always been a place susceptible to earthquakes Sicily more so than other regions. I’ve never felt anything, that is until this summer when the Mt Etna volcano has been erupting. Etna has always been relatively active and is quite far away from us towards Catania.   In the past we’ve breathed in…