Do you only eat fruit in season, or forced in greenhouses?

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…

Why are these refugees coming to Europe anyway?

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…

Are you suffering from Tanorexia?

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…

Italy Magazine Blogger Awards: I’m in the Finals!

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…

Siracusa, The Ancient Greek jewel in Sicily’s Crown

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…

Are the Sicilians Africans or Europeans?

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…

Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve, Sicily

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…

Sea Urchins, Anyone?

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…

Buying a house in Sicily! Where they cost 1 Euro!

I have been back in Sicily for a month and I’ve only just got my head together well enough to write a new post. After three months in the quiet English Cotswolds, I was suffering from extreme culture shock. I realised how much I love this place, and I also realised that having dozens of Sicilians…

A Lateen, or Latin Sail boat

A friend of mine took these photos while we were with his wife, having coffee, ice-cream and shameful amounts of chocolate biscuits on his gorgeous terrace overlooking the sea. The sail is triangular, and its front side is lashed to the mast from top to bottom. This Vela Latina or Lateen was the sail used all…

The Mediterranean Diet – how to do it properly

All over the world, there exists the myth of a “Healthy Mediterranean Diet,” which everyone is urged to emulate for the sake of their arteries. The Mayo Clinic (which always makes me think of Mayonnaise, anyone else?) says on its website: “Mediterranean diet: Choose this heart-healthy diet option” A cursory search on the Internet will…