That festive time of year is approaching, when Sicilians gather for intimate family dinners of 25 to 40 people, eat more than their body weight in food, and shout to relatives at the opposite end of the table about how good the fourth pasta course tastes. It’s also, of course, the time when we … More Sicilian Christmas Gift Ideas
Palermo is a fun place to go shopping, and you can find some real bargains if you know where to go. If you don’t, you can find a truly amazing amount of tiny weeny Chinese clothing, that you would not have fitted into by the time you were 12. Never fear! Follow my advice, and … More Shopping in Palermo
I was happy to see that Sicilian fashion duo Dolce and Gabbana (well, one of them is Sicilian anyway) have turned back to Sicily to inspire their Summer 2016 collection. They must have heard I’ve moved back to England, because they included a matching umbrella in the collection this year. Thanks, guys! This time they … More Dolce & Gabbana Summer 2016: The Carretto Siciliano!
I have spent eleven years being irritated by an 18th century villa near my house, because it blocks the middle of what could be a perfect road running right behind Casa Nostra into the nearest town. Despite its fancy gates, Villa Sant’Isidoro looked like a derelict building from the outside. I assumed it would fall down … More The Villa of the Fashionista: Villa Sant’Isidoro in Aspra
Sicilian fashion duo Dolce & Gababana have been taking their inspiration from Sicily for several years. I usually try to report on it as soon as the collection comes out, despite the fact that I am about as likely to end up owning a real D&G outfit of clothes as I am to hire Brad … More 2014: Dolce and Gabbana’s year of Siracusa!
I have discovered that my new-ish digital camera has much more memory than my vintage, steam-powered computer. This means I cannot upload all my lovely photos of Siracusa until I get a new one, because plugging the camera into the USB port made the computer have a kind of epileptic siezure. Since this situation is … More Knickers and Pants
In Italy, it is against the law to emerge in public with bad hair. Italians remain housebound on bad hair days. In the summer, having white skin is also considered a serious fashion gaffe. There is simply no excuse. Strangers repeatedly threaten to report phosphorescent Celtic people like me to the fashion police. Sometimes gangs … More A Narrow escape from the Fashion Police
On some of Sicily’s beaches after a big storm, if you’re sharp-eyed and lucky as well, you can find pieces of a rare type of amber called simetite. Some pieces of simetite have recently been found to contain hitherto unknown types of prehistoric insect. It dates from the Miocene, a later period than the more … More Sicilian Amber – the Tears of the Sun God’s Daughters
The Sicilians adore Pope Francis. This is not just because he once worked as a nightclub bouncer and is way more down-to-earth than any other pontiff in living memory. He is the first pope ever to condemn the Mafia, repeatedly and unequivocally. He rejects the pomp and wealth of the traditional church and genuinely helps … More Dolce and Gabbana pay tribute to Pope Francis?
This is not something I am writing on a whim. Fair enough, yesterday I went through the trauma of supervising my seven-year-old son while he did his Italian Grammar homework. This was not only traumatic because I didn’t know the right answers. It was also traumatic because he was tired, bored, and doing all he … More Stop Giving Children Homework NOW!
A while ago, I asked my son what he wants to be when he grows up. “I want to be fat,” he answered without hesitation. “Like the Daddy in the Simpsons,” he explained. “Like Obelix the Gaul,” he emphasised. “Like him”, he exclaimed in delight when he saw Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi in the Olympics. … More Are our children beautiful enough?
I discovered recently that Dolce & Gabbana have created their Summer 2013 women’s fashion collection with an exuberantly Sicilian theme. It has also come to my attention that American and English journalists are calling it “racist”. Is it racist? Let’s have a look at it first, so we know what we’re talking about. Here’s a dress: The … More Is this Racist?