Sicilian Impressions: Insects

Sicily is close to Africa in a geographical and historical sense. The island’s cuisine is dappled by Arab influences, open air markets in most major cities are reminiscent of Moroccan bazaars and the scirocco wind often whips up dry air from the Sahara. Another African element of the island are the strange insects you discover,…

Sicilian Impressions: Mountains

As a stranger to the mountains I have been challenged by Sicily’s predominate rocky landscape over the years. It is fascinating to observe the Sicilian peaks, their changing faces which recall stark Irish hills or Scottish highlands. In his now historical travelogue 'Sea and Sardinia,' D.H Lawrence complained of Sicily’s ‘peaky confinement’ preferring the wider…

Sicilian Impressions: Cannoli

Sicilian desserts are world famous but the most decadent has to be deep fried cannoli tubes which are filled with ricotta or fresh custard cream. They are a special treat and are often given as gifts for Christmas and Easter. The empty golden shells are tiny works of art ready to be filled with sweetness.

Sicilian Impressions: Paese

My little Paese or Italian town is suffering through a dull time, thanks to the economic crisis. The piazza seems empty and for now there is not much movement. But when the sun comes out and the light of the people illuminates the gloom it is outstanding. Here's to shining through the darkness ...

Sicilian Impressions: Snow

I'm kicking off 2015 with a series of photographic posts titled Sicilian impressions, which illustrate my tiny piece of the intricate mosaic which is Sicily. Images from my personal exploration of small towns, landscape, landmarks, culture and the delicate little stories surrounding them. Over the New Year we had a cold snap here and the…

Sicilian Mercatini di Natale

I have always been a sucker for Italian open air markets, it is wonderfully civilized to go out once a week to buy your fresh fruit and vegetables, local produce and on special occasions like Christmas pick up cute little gifts, antiques and fashion. I am always on the look out for a special gift…

Sicilian Postcards: Every window has a view

There is nothing to it, every window in Sicily has a view.  

Sicily’s most intriguing museums

There are literally hundreds of museums in Sicily as humanity has made its home here since prehistoric times. You can get lost in amongst the limitless exhibitions of ancient Greek artefacts, fossils and ceramics and risk museum burnout. The best way to avoid exorbitant museum visitation is to select a few which spark a particular…

Postcards from Sicily: Oregano

This summer I photographed this Sicilian Oregano drying in the sun. Oregano grows wild in amongst the Mediterranean scrub of Sicily and is gathered and saved to add flavor to meats and other dishes. As I was taking this photo I was struck by the rustic almost dirty look of the rocks and the herbs,…

What is happening above our heads?

The terrifying sound of a jet roaring over our heads is becoming a regular occurrence. It is a military exercise but I imagine the terror of it speeding towards a real mission. The nightmare of hearing a fleet of such monsters heading towards you announcing death in life’s final moments, a chilling thought which haunts…

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 ...

Sicilian Tomatoes, Benedica

The fertility of Sicily’s volcanic soil is well-known and thanks to the Sicilian habit of having a vegetable garden I’ve never been without fresh fruits and vegetables to prepare throughout the year, from eggplants, capsicums, chili peppers, basil and tomatoes in the summer to peas, potatoes, pumpkins and broad beans in the winter. There is…

Postcards from Sicily: Tomatoes

Fruit and vegetables always seem more sensuous in Sicily, their colours are more intense, flavors fulsome and form expansive. Our tomatoes this year were an illustration of Sicilian agricultural fertility, they were abundant and delicious too.  

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…

Beautiful Sicilian Porcini mushrooms

Each wild Porcini mushroom is a thing of beauty, individual works of spontaneous sculpture which nature gives us.   Actually you have to hunt them down or else they are destined to decay and break down back into the earth.     The other day my eldest niece accused me of being lazy and not wanting…