We visited this lovely little museum near Siracusa a couple of years ago. It is in an old water mill, which the same family has conveted into a museum, after several generations of their family used it to mill flour. It is called the Museo Cavallo d’Ispica. They were clearly the kind of hoarders who … More The Museum of a Sicilian Water Mill at Cavallo d’Ispica
Whilst scoffing mango and strawberries with my nephew the other day, I found myself thinking of my friends in Sicily with pity. This is the season when they have pretty much no fruit, you see. Oranges fizzle out in February, and then there’s basically nothing till May. Fruit and veg in season The idea of only … More Do you only eat fruit in season, or forced in greenhouses?
I recently moved back to England, partly because I found my dream job, my life’s calling; and equally so that my son could go to school in peace after his school in Sicily fell down. Now that I am back in England I am realising that the level of pity and sympathy for refugees is … More Why are these refugees coming to Europe anyway?
I recently found out there’s an illness called “tanorexia.” I thought I might suffer from it, being so unable to get a suntan. I went to the beach yesterday and everyone asked me “Is this the first time you’ve been to the beach this year?” Sicilians ask me that every time I go to the … More Are you suffering from Tanorexia?
What colour are Sicilians? This seems to be the most controversial and provocative question one could possibly ask in relation to Sicily. I receive a regular stream of distressed or outraged comments from people who cannot bear it when I mention that Sicilian skin spans a range of many tones. They are always Americans with Sicilian … More What do Sicilians Look Like? Let’s dig into the DNA
“Veronica Di Grigoli’s book The Dangerously truthful diary of a Sicilian Housewife takes us on her own personal odyssey, navigating through many monstrosities, perils and everyday adventures along the way. The diary is filled with biting wit, an astute knack for observation and a powerful sense of determination which makes it a joy … More Comedy novel ‘The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife’ gets rave reviews
Ooh exciting! My dear friends, my blog is in the finals of the Italy Magazine “Best Living in Italy Blog.” If I win I might become rich and famous! Blogger Awards 2015 I am also nominated for the “Best Living in Italy Single post” category, for my tips on how to handle Italian men (or ward them … More Italy Magazine Blogger Awards: I’m in the Finals!
We had a holiday in Siracusa this summer, over on the south eastern corner of the island. That side of Sicily has a lot of Baroque architecture. Sicilian baroque is a distinctive style developed under Spanish and Bourbon rule (17th century). Here’s Siracusa cathedral: The Museum of Archaeology in Siracusa is wonderful. Since my degree … More Siracusa, The Ancient Greek jewel in Sicily’s Crown
The Arabs and Normans ruled Sicily in medieval times, and left a legacy I see all around me in Sicily today. I see Arabs in the girls with big dark eyes and thick black hair, or in the little boys on the beach with nut brown skin. I see Normans too, in the fishermen with … More Are the Sicilians Africans or Europeans?
Lo Zingaro nature reserve, in San Vito lo capo, was Sicily’s first. We visited recently, and spotted a falcon flying overhead. There are also buzzards, ravens, hooded crows and thrushes. The wild flowers include ferns, cyclamen, hollly bushes, lots of yellow mountain broom and this lovely flower. Does anyone know what it is? There were … More Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve, Sicily
Sicilians absolutely love sea urchins – as food, rather than as wildlife. They crack them open and eat them raw by scooping their insides out with a piece of bread. This is why, off many parts of the Sicilian coast, sea urchins are becoming rare. We went to the stunning Lo Zingaro nature reserve at the … More Sea Urchins, Anyone?
Did you know the world’s oldest university was founded by a Sicilian? It’s in Cairo, and he actually founded the whole city, too. This shows the terrible problem of Brain Drain has existed in Sicily far longer than most people realise. To get a concept of how big an issue this is, consider that there … More Brain Drain, Sicilian Talent, and the World’s Oldest University
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
I was collecting my son from school a few weeks ago and noticed two bags of salt lying on the ground, split open with salt scattered all over the place. “Oh dear, someone dropped a bit of their shopping,” I commented to a couple of mothers. “No, they didn’t,” said one of them. They laughed, … More How to Protect yourself against the Evil Eye