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…

Sicilian Impressions: Maschere

Carnival time in Italy is filled with endless fried desserts, parades, tricks and masquerade. The masks can be beautiful like the ones at Venice’s world famous Carnevale or terribly ugly like these. When you see one do not be afraid, they are harmless they only want to be offered a glass of wine or mime…

Postcards from Sicily: maccheroni

  Sicilian maccheroni, are the ultimate feast. Served with rich Bolognese sauces for every occasion from birthdays to Christmas to New Year. Not for the faint hearted ... your waistline will suffer for them but your taste buds will be in heaven. Maccheroni season is just around the corner ...

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…

Postcards from Sicily: A glimpse of spring

  I managed to get a glimpse of the metaphorical 'Primavera' while jostling in the crowd at the Medieval parade as part of the Infiorata festival at Noto, Syracuse but I'm afraid I've seen very little of her since. I wonder where she has gone?

Postcards from Sicily: playing cards

  Sicilian playing cards are works of art. There are many versions around, these ones are Neapolitan and I picked them up at my local Tabaccheria. This is the ace of spades a wonderfully baroque angel holding a cascade of flowers and an Arabic vector. I grew up playing Sicilian card games and love the…

Postcards from Sicily: Bomboniere Passion

I'm developing a passion for the Italian and Sicilian flare for giving out bomboniere for every possible occasion. Over the last couple of year's we've received a few from weddings and now the birth one's have started up. This little ball of pink is for the latest little girl on the block. For the record…

Postcards from Sicily: Gethsemane

I've always loved Sicilian churches prolific use of mosaics. Last summer I got to the church of the Madonna of Tindari (ME) and managed to sneak a shot of this beautiful image of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. These mosaics are like living breathing operatic scenes filled with life and drama. I think I'll…

Postcards from Sicily: Spring trying to poke its head out

The weather in Sicily and all over Italy has been terrible lately. Usually at this time of year we are already into the swing of spring. Here's hoping the spring will unexpectedly poke its head out like this cute little church at Martini a suburb of my little town Sinagra, Messina. Here's hoping for some…

Postcards from Sicily: The humble wood pile

Every Sicilian has one of these in the winter. Either neatly arranged, stored in front of their door or covered up in a secret nook. I'm loving the wood stove right now. Brrrrrr!! Thank god for the wood pile!

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.

Postcards from Sicily: Funky winter fruit

One funky winter fruit common here in Sicily are these gorgeous fruit called Corbezzoli in Italian or Mbriaculi in Sicilian. They are fuzzy little slightly spiky balls of sweet goodness. Apparently when animals eat too many of them they ferment in their stomachs making them slightly drunk. According to Google translator these are Arbutus fruit,…

Secluded Sicily: San Marco d’Alunzio

This curious itsy-bitsy place attracted my attention when I first saw it from a train heading from Palermo to Messina. I blinked my eyes in amazement to witness a town literally camped up on the top of a mountain. San Marco d’Alunzio seems tightly compacted up there on Monte Castro some five hundred and forty…