On the road to Noto

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 for the annual…

Secluded Sicily: Longi

Longi is a tiny mountain village perched literally on a precipice with one road in and one road out in between the two other rugged mountain towns of Galati Mamertino and Frazzano' Every time I visit I am amazed at how Sicilian’s were able to build a town in such an unwelcoming part of the…

Poetry inspired by Sicily: In Ogni Paese

  In every paese there is an energy filled with the spirit of young & old paesani Every paese has its old palazzi, a Chiesa Madre, held together by the perspiration of local priests. In every paese, children run to catechism bounding, yelling and jumping as only youth does. Every paese has its drunks, madmen,…

Yuletide Sicily

The festive season is always a beautiful time of the year to visit Sicily as it is filled with the colours, tastes and sensations of a traditional Sicilian Christmas. A Yuletide Sicily offers visitors a unique way of experiencing the island which is inhabited by fewer tourists and is ultimately a more authentically Italian celebration.…

Rebuilding Messina

  The most powerful recorded earthquake to hit Europe struck Messina at about 5:20 AM local time. Its epicentre was under the Strait of Messina, which separates the island of Sicily from the province of Calabria, the “toe” of Italy’s geographical “boot.” The main shock lasted for more than 20 seconds, and its magnitude reached 7.5 on the Richter scale. Ten minutes…

Teatro Vittorio Emanuele II

Messina’s Teatro Vittorio Emanuele II was built in 1852 by Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies. The building is in the Neoclassical style and was designed by Neapolitan architect Pietro Valente. Previously known as the Teatro Sant’ Elisabetta its name was changed after the Expedition of the Thousand (Italian Spedizione dei Mille) which was a part of the…

Messina’s Madonna

Messina has a special connection to its Parton the Virgin Mary. Not only does she welcome the ships into the port with her giant golden statue at the entrance of the naturally formed inlet. She has many churched dedicated to her, and her image is at the centre of the city’s immense faith and religious…

The one time I went to Etnaland

Every year a group from my small Sicilian town of Sinagra organises a pilgrimage to the Etnaland amusement park at Belpasso outside of Catania. In the summer months, the waterpark is open until the early evening, and the connected theme park rides are put into motion as the locals spend their evenings spinning, dipping and…

Summer decadence

Sicily is filled with many culinary delicacies throughout the year, but it seems to outdo itself for the summer holidays when everyone is out to have a good time and forget their diets. There are the usual pastries and the cliché gelati but two particular summer favourites which simply must not be missed by any…

Making your own Dolce Vita

The #dolcevitabloggers have chosen to explore the concept of the Dolce Vita in Italy. There is a fine line between loving and visiting the bel paese as a tourist and the reality of living here, in the search for your own personal sweet life. So cheers to Kelly from italianatheart.com, Jasmine from questadolcevita.com and Kristie of mammaprada.com for choosing…

Hidden Gems in Sicily this June

This month the #DolceVitaBloggers link up is sharing our personal guide to Italy’s hidden gems, special off the hidden track treasures which are often whisked by on thirsty bucket list group tours or pedantically planned summer trips. Thanks again to Kelly from italianatheart.com, Jasmine from questadolcevita.com and Kristie of mammaprada.com for creating this great way of connecting Italophiles, to…

Poetry inspired by Sicily: A place of elephants, lions and bears

My grandparent's gardens are gone like so many poetic laments about lost paradises nothing of their cultivated land where father, son, mother and daughter lived the flowering trees are a memory recalled by a dying generation no more sustenance or song only the shadows of a once fertile island Ancient olive groves gradually enveloped by…

Eating the Springtime

One of the life lessons Italy has given me is the special taste of eating according to the seasons. There is something wonderfully simple and logical about living with the natural worlds shifting seasons, as if you are following a natural internal rhythm. Today we are all spoilt by supermarkets who have everything we want…

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…

Sicilian Mountain Lessons

I’ve always been challenged by the mountainous landscape in Sicily. The boundless slopes disorient me, I have problems finding my bearings and the horizon is blocked out by them. When I go hiking down steep hillsides I am constantly holding on for dear life, grappling white-knuckled onto the flimsiest blade of grass. I’ve lost count…