Under the feet of Mongibello

Randazzo squats under Mount Etna, sprawling out along the massive volcano’s base in the fertile valley of Alcantara. Etna has a tyrannical hold over the landscape and is constantly hovering over this place born out of the volcano’s colossal menace. The broad lava streets of the city are filled with a rustic opulence, as if…

Things to do in Sicily

I am constantly sitting down and planning out trips to do through Sicily. Often I don’t do everything on my list as I run out of money but I am generally happy if I do one of the trips every year as they are based on my experiences living here on the island. Sicily is…

Sicilian Impressions: Castello Nelson

One of the most fascinating historical sites I have discovered in Sicily is the Castello di Maniace (also known as the Castello Nelson) outside the small agricultural town of Maniace in the extensive plain between Bronte and Randazzo a city literally at the feet of Mount Etna. Admiral Horatio Nelson was given the estate of…

Towns cradled by Etna

I’ve been asked several times about the dangers of the Mount Etna volcano in Sicily. Over the past decade Etna has been relatively active opening several new openings in spectacular lava flowing fountains and fire works, but the province of Messina is distant enough to hear the stories and watch the news without being directly…

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…

A Sicilian wish list for the summertime

   Daphne’s house: Giardini Naxos, Castelmola and Taormina Taormina is a beautiful town to explore but it is terribly touristy and there are many other things to see in the vicinity. Be sure to visit Casa Cuseni an historic house which became like a real character in one of the best books around about Sicily…

Secluded Sicily: Sinagra

My journey into sleepy Sicilian places began with my current home, Sinagra. It is the town that my husband and his family adopted as they gradually moved towards the coast away from the once agriculturally rich mountain regions whose decline began after the post world war two period. Sinagra is one of those ancient towns…