Smoky roasted Artichokes

The Sicilian spring is moody as the weather fluctuates between rain and days of glorious sun. The Sciroccio wind whips itself up from the African desert and pushes the seasons along. White blossoms in the fruit trees blend with shadowy greys. The spring is an armistice which allows the winter to gradually surrender itself and…

Window shopping in Sicily

Italy is a place where fashion comes alive. Italians have a real flare for it whether it be elderly ladies dressed in colorful silk tops and high heels, or the latest shop window display from Dolce and Gabanna there is an astounding level of creative expression happening deep within the Italian psyche which is inspiring.…

Postcards from Sicily: Fiat 500

    The Fiat 500 is an enigmatic symbol of Italy. I’ve lost track of the amount of people who say this is their dream car. I am constantly coming across these cute Italian creations, which are easy to park in cramped car parks all over Italy. The cinquecento is featured on endless tourist souvenirs…

Vintage Messina

  I love all things Vintage so I was so happy when I came across this vintage souvenir from Messina.     In the series of postcards the landscape of the city, the port and the mountains on the other side of the strait at Calabria are always the same yet the infrastructure is ever-changing.…

Postcards from Sicily: The art of hunting

    The sport of hunting is widely diffused all over Sicily and Italy. The Greenie in me is terribly uncomfortable about living side by side with this sport. However I can understand the cultural value of this tradition as it has connections to the proud agricultural world, the community and families from the past.…

Postcards from Sicily: Discovery

  Even if I dislike shopping around touristy type shops I am often surprised to find stunningly original items in amongst the tacky kitsch. Working my through I heart Sicily post cards, every possibly shaped lava sculpture, bamboo flutes and knickknacks I saw these little babies. A series of handcrafted tools used to pick those…

The Stone Garden of Noto

  Shaking off the car sickness brought on by the endless curves of the drive I stretch my legs. The bus drops me off near the public gardens on front of Piazzale Marconi a few minutes walk from the centre of Noto, Syracuse. The late May springtime is usually a spectacular prelude to a long…

On the road to Syracuse

    The golden moment of the early Sicilian early morning overwhelms me, church steeples from the cramped towns hanging off the Nebrodi Mountains for dear life are lit up with a distinctly auburn glow. I rolled out of bed this morning at four am for a day trip by bus to Noto, Syracuse, so…

The clockwork marvel at Messina

A few weeks ago I shared a photo of the impressive bell tower near the Duomo of Messina and was surprised by the level of interest in this landmark, hence this post. I’ve been taking people to visit the bell tower ever since moving to Sicily. The mechanical aspects of the tower are a little…

Postcards from Sicily: ancient crafts

  I'm a bit of a postcard addict, always on the lookout for original or vintage images from wherever I am visiting. I recently found this great series of cards depicting ancient arts from Sicily. Work that is no longer needed or has simply disappeared as the world has become 'modern'. It saddens me to…

Postcards from Sicily: at the bar

  There is something about Sicilian's and their local bar. I too am addicted to my morning espresso. There is nothing like swaggering into your local cafe and ordering the 'black gold' even though you are usually surrounded by strange men. I need caffeine stimulation.  

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: 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…

Clockwork Messina

A detail of the bell tower of Messina. I was looking through some old shots the other day and I loved the elegance of this shot, even if it was sweltering when I took the picture. The cockerel crows every midday and midnight in the Piazza Duomo of Messina. He begins an elaborate dance of clockwork…