Bio

Veronica14

Ten years ago I visited Sicily for a wedding, and accidentally fell in love with one of the groom’s three hundred cousins.

I plucked up the courage to leave my family and friends in London, give up my job, sell my house, car and collection of seventies disco albums, and move to a fishing village in northern Sicily with a population of about two hundred people (several of whom do still have their own teeth).

Everyone, Sicilians included, keeps asking me how I could do it.

I really have no idea, so I started this blog to try to figure out the answer.

Occupation

Pretend Sicilian Housewife.

073 brightly coloured cover version 2

Location

A fishing village on the north coast of Sicily. We have two schools, one doctor, a post office full of marauding old people and dozens of fishermen who sell fresh fish on the beach.

They have my husband’s number on speed dial and phone him from the sea when they catch something he really likes. He waits for them on the beach (smacking his lips) when they come ashore.

The fishermen sometimes plonk outboard motors on the back of these but they also use the oars to sneak up silently - it depends which type of fish they are after. Fish have seasons, like fruit and veg, apparently.

Interests

Cooking pasta for 30 people at a time to impress my mother-in-law, aka The Godmother.

Putting laundry away QUICKLY before anyone realises I haven’t ironed it.

Avoiding sunburn by smothering myself in SPF 100 till I look like a Geisha.

Special Skill

Travelling around Sicily by car.

road_hole

 

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157 thoughts on “Bio

  1. Just subscribed, but some time back read your hilarious post with pictures of the perils of driving in Sicily. We are spending 2 weeks in Sicily beginning the 19th of September, progressing from east to west, but spending the majority of the time in the Baroque southeastern area, planning to park “far from the madding crowds.” I am hoping that the irony in the majority of your posts has peppered the one on driving! It can’t be worse than Rome, (which we have survived twice), and will not even go within 100 km of Palermo with the car! Keep up the incredible entertaining work!!
    Jan Walcott
    Lake Bluff, IL 60044

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    1. I am sure you’ll have a fantastic time in Sicily and I am glad to hear I haven’t scared you off!
      You’re right, they seem far less lunatic on the Eastern side of Sicily. If you do end up driving over this way, I recommend having a stiff drink or three beforehand to steel your nerves with Dutch courage. It will help you acquire the right driving style to mingle with the locals. πŸ™‚

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  2. That’s the way I feel, just what you actually have done.
    I would have traveled to Sicily, and or, one of the islands in the Dodecanese back in the early 1980’s and became a Skafandro (my biggest ambition from childhood) but life and The Lord ordered different steps for me.
    You’re doin it to it!
    Go head on girl!

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  3. I just discovered your blog through Adventures in Cheeseland and I think it’s terrific! Great writing and humor but best of all, Sicily! Our neighbors in Massachusetts were Sicilian as was one of my bosses. And then, of course, all the other great Italian-Americans we knew. At my daughter’s high school graduation party, I remarked to my husband, “Do you notice anything about this crowd? Everybody here as a name that ends in a vowel!” I look forward to getting to know you through this blog, Veronica.

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  4. Hi Veronica
    I have been reading your blogg for some time now. My husband and I have “almost” decided to buy a flat in Castellamare del Golfo, if we manage to sell a small country “rustico” in Liguria.
    We are “former American” ( My grandparents were from Palm Montechiaro) changed passports to Norway where we have our work. We spend April and Oct in CDG, i am trying to figure out where you are…. If you are interested in getting meeting, let me know. We arrive on the 10th of April.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember two weeks in Bali – what a beautiful, creative, artistic place! I bet it is really stimulating to live there. I think the aesthetic and creative streak is definitely something the Sicilians and Balinese have in common.

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  5. My leap hasn’t been as large as yours–or I don’t think it has. I moved the the U.S. to a village in Cornwall, but the language is the same and my partner’s as American as she was on the other side of the ocean, so in each other we’ve brought a bit of home with us. But it’s still been an adventure. I love it.

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  6. Enjoy your humor and writing. Have been traveling in Sicily for 3 months and everyday is an adventure but working and raising a family are a whole different ball of wax so truly enjoy your frank but comical perspectives. Gotta have comedy to get through it I’m sure. Many thanks for that. Mille grazie. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you so much for this award! I am really chuffed!
      As I am having health probllems lately I am not sure if I’ll get time to post about it, but I have decided to reblog your post so that your blog adn the others you chose should get a bit more (well deserved) attention. πŸ˜€

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      1. It’s absolutely my pleasure, Veronica! Your award is very well-deserved.
        I’m sorry to hear about your health problems and I hope that you’ll feel better soon.
        Thank you so much for deciding to reblog my post! I hope that the reblog button issue has been resolved now, but do let me know if you find any further problems.
        Congratulations again, Veronica πŸ™‚

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  7. Came across your article your article/blog re: “What Do Sicilians Look Like?”.
    Found it interesting, especially as I just did the DNA test (Father’s Day gift from our
    kids). No surprises there: 80% Italian/Greek,10%Eastern European, remainder 9%
    North African and 1% Britain. My dad born in Caltavuturo/ Palermo, mother’s side
    from Villalba/ Caltinasetta. No wonder!
    My wife is reading ” Dangerously Truthful Diary…………….” . She is doing a lot of LOL. Feeds me snippets, here and there. Hilarious! Thanks. Enjoy your blog.
    Best of luck.

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    1. Interesting to hear the DNA feedback – a fairly classic Sicilian mix by the sound of it, though interesting that you had plenty of Greek when my hubby had none!

      I am glad to hear you’re enjoying the “Dangerous Diary”!!!! Please tell your friends about it for me! Word of mouth is my only publicity! πŸ˜€

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      1. Forgot to mention, my wife is of Irish/English descent. It has been 53 yrs. of fun,
        marked by only occasional culture clashes and temper tantrums. Our four adult children and grandchildren have benefited, coming from two distinctly different heritages. So for Christmas it’s cannoli and English trifle!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I admire you.I am Sicilian and very often this country drives me crazy.When I go to Selinunte or Siracusa or Modica I find myself and feel happy.I live in Palermo.I have a strong love hate relationship with this city.Besides love, what does hinder you from getting crazy?

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    1. So far, I find the only thing that really helps is cake! Being serious, I agree with you that going to Siracusa or Modica or a few other really beautiful places make me happy. Usually the further I can get from Bagheria, the better I feel! In fact going to Palermo is already an improvement.
      It takes amazing patience to live here.
      What do you do in Palermo? Do you have a job?

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  9. I totally LOVE your blog. I just found it recently. I have never been to Sicily but fell in live with mainland Italy after a visit a fee years ago. I just bought a house in Bisacquino, south of Palermo and I will be there wnd of February for a week.
    Thanks for your blog, I’m a freelance writer, not a busy one, and I appreciate your humor and knowledge.
    Jim
    http://Www.perkperkins.com.

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    1. I am so glad you like my blog and I hope you have a great holiday in February. There are so many great places to see in Palermo and surrounding it.
      Don’t miss the palazzo dei Normanni in central Palermo. I also strongly recommend Villa Sant’Isidoro in Aspra (near Bagheria)…if you go there tell them the English lady Veronica sent you! They will treat you well!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad I found this blog. I have a job offer for a position in Sigonella that would start March. I need to make a decision by the 4th of Jan to accept or decline. Its a military support job much like what I do now in the USA. I was in Palermo in NOV 2007 for 10 days vacation and visit to see family. Loved it! Wonder how eastern side of island would be on comparison?

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    1. The eastern side is less corrupt and generally more organised, so I am sure you will be really happy there, since you have a decent job. I don’t recommend it if you have kids as the schools are not satisfactory, but if you are single it can be a lot of fun. Will there be other expats there? Generally Sicilians make more superficial friendships than the English and Americans do and you have to know them for a much longer time before you reach the stage where you can really open up, so you need to be a pretty self-sufficient person to begin with.
      I hope this helps. Sicily is not the easiest place to go and live in as a foreigner (and if you’re Sicilian American they will definitely see you as a foreigner) but you can have a very enriching experience if it does work out for you.

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  11. Just finished your Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife (flicked through it last year on holiday but this time read it properly) and I loved every sentence, paragraph, page and chapter of it. It’s a laugh out loud book and for those who know Sicily a bit (I count myself as one of those), it is easy to recognise the characters who appear. PLEASE, let’s have a second volume of your life’s trials in that island. I miss the Godmother and all your relatives and friends, your ice-cream salesman and the woman with the cure for worms. So, get to it. Let’s have some more before my withdrawal symptoms become acute.
    I’m not off to Amazon to praise it to the skies.

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  12. Stumbled on your delight blog. Just came back June 5th from my forth visit to Sicily. We did the west coast : Palermo for the first time. Then Agrigento, The Villa Romana, Modica, Tarissini, back to Ostia where my sister lives. I could not imagine living there and figured you must have married a Sicilian. My partner is interested in reading your diaries–book. Sorry to hear about the Mafia fires going on.

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    1. I am glad you are enjoying your visits to Sicily! It seems the fires have stopped now, fingers crossed.
      I hope your partner enjoys the book – most people tell me they found it really funny πŸ™‚

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    1. Well I was in Aspra, it’s just outside Bagheria and about 15 minutes from Palermo. But at the moment, I am in Stoke on Trent in England (shh, don’t tell anyone… πŸ˜‰ )

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  13. PS Although we are too americanized and could not live there. Thankfully I go Family in Ostia, Maiori, and other places I am thankfully obligated to get back there from time to time there and Rick and I intend to spend an extended time in some village in Sicily. Love Taormina and Stromboli πŸ™‚ Bacci

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Loved the book read on my Kindle during our fortnight Summer holiday with the in laws in Messina. Have lived and worked in Sicily and our first born arrived in the policlinico Messina mid August 1981! Could tell you some tales about that ! Most vivid memory is the staff relishing having an Inglese giving birth and telling me they’d heard the English women didn’t screamand shout during childbirth like the locals!! No pressure there then! Spot on with the driving I certainly daren’t get behind the wheel! Had fun this Summer on the short drive to the beach counting how many cars had bumps on them. But it got a bit boring when it reached over the thirties!l

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  15. Looking for something to read about Sicily before we set off next week on our Golden Wedding Anniversary trip (child bride!) I came across your book. Read it on one sitting, loved it and am now enjoying your blog.
    Lots of useful information here, trying not to worry about the driving aspect but looking forward to having a great time. We are going to be in the south east corner, a couple of nights in Montalbanos house B and B, and then on the coast south of Ispica.
    Can you tell me anything about travelling by train from here to Syracusa, seems safer than taking the car..
    We have spent many holidays in Italy but this is our first time in Sicily.
    I live in Macclesfield, up the road from Alsager!

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    1. What a coincidence that we are so near to each other!
      I hope you have a lovely time on holiday and I am delighted that you enjoyed my book! πŸ˜€
      Train travel in Sicily is great. It isn’t super fast, but it is generally reliable and the scenery is lovely. Coming from England you will find it cheap and pleasingly punctual!
      If you look on the Trenitalia website, you can find all the timetables and routes, and a clever feature that shows exactly where the trains are in real time.
      Anyway have a wonderful holiday, and congratulations on your anniversary!

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  16. I think I am pleased to have found your blog on Sicilian DNA and then your charming stories of your life in Sicily. I am half Sicilian, but I was raised by the other half. After I did my DNA I dove in and found the mixes you wrote about, thank you so much for writing about it. Just letting you know you are appreciated and I hope to keep reading.

    Denise

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