How to Annoy a Sicilian

Despite their reputation for having a volcanic temperament, Sicilians are actually a phlegmatic bunch. I’m endlessly amazed by what they’ll put up with. But, if you must, here are the Seven Secret ways to irritate a Sicilian from here to next Sunday. On Monday, make fun of his white vest. I once tried this on Hubby,…

Chivalrous Knights and Cloaked Assassins: Italy’s Five Martial Arts

When you say “Martial Arts,” most people think of Karate chops, Judo throws and the other unarmed combat techniques of the Far East. Yet it’s actually Italy and Greece which have the oldest martial arts traditions in the world. All they need is someone as cool as Bruce Lee to make them world famous! Here’s my…

Celtic Hair

My sister spent a year in Italy getting her hair persistently cut into a mullet. She went to a different salon every time and begged them for a “Little crash helmet” (caschetto), which is what Italians call a bob cut all one length. But apparently every hairstylist in Milan had signed a secret pact to…

Mazel Tov! The Sicilian Housewife goes to Israel!

Not really. I went to a “meeting” in the local council building to “discuss” the “promotion” of “tourism” in our town last night. All these “”””””” “”” ” ” “””  have a purpose and I promise to explain. Being an astute housewife, I realised very quickly that I had been lured there under false pretences…

Single Woman in Italy? The Sicilian Housewife’s Guide to Italian Men

I spent years travelling alone among the men of Italy. I wish I had known all these insider tips, which I’ve now learnt from my own Italian Hubby! Boundaries Italian men will do things that overstep “boundaries” in your culture. Their boundaries are different. One thing they will do, relentlessly, is chat you up in…

The Best and Worst of Sicily

Originally posted on secret sicily:
Veronica is the brain and pen behind Sicilian Godmother, where she writes about her life in Sicily as an English expat. When I asked her to write a guest post about things she loves and hates about Sicily, I didn’t expect to open such a big can of worms! Her initial draft was way…

The Tentacles of Doom

Foreigners think English food is awful, and I know why. It’s because they don’t know how to eat it. I served a roast dinner to my outlaws at Christmas a few years ago. They took some potatoes, which sat all lonely and solitary in the middle of their plates. After eating them in dry, disappointed…

Snails for dinner, anyone?

The other day we stopped at the greengrocers – which is normally a roadside stall in Sicily – and my son started making a big fuss over this cage of snails. Most eight-year-olds would either want to play with them or, if particularly sensitive types, perhaps want to liberate them. Not my son. He wanted…

How Macho Fantastico Cured the Flu in One Day

Hubby offered to hang up the laundry a few days ago, since I’ve had a nasty virus. I don’t know how, but he turned all my Brazilian style knickers into thongs that would fit an elephant. Did he secure them firmly to the washing line then bungy jump down to the car parked below? Use…

5 Top Tips: How to Park like a Sicilian

Can’t find a parking space? Sicilians can. Take a leaf out of their book. Parking Idea # 1 – The Forty-Fiver So-named because you park at 45 degrees to the pavement, this technique is ideal if the available space is not actually big enough for your car, if you know you’ll need to make a…

Knickers and Pants

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…