…Otherwise known as Pot Heads! I like the ambiguity in the phrase Moorish Heads. When the Moors invaded Sicily from North Africa in the 11th century, they built ceramics workshops all over the island and taught the Sicilians to make brightly coloured majolica, an art form which gradually spread throughout Sicily. One of the excavated … More The Moorish Heads of Sicily
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 … More Mazel Tov! The Sicilian Housewife goes to Israel!
Originally posted on siquillya:
EDIT: I’ve made some scans and have adjusted the images as best as possible. Wish I could have copied these in glorious color, but sometimes you have to work with what you can get. On Thursday, I braved the holiday tourist crowds and took the train from Trenton to New York…
We are all used to buying imported and exotic foods in our local supermarket these days, and seeing Jamie Oliver on TV wagging spaghetti about and telling us to grow “some lavly fresh basil” on our windowsills. Jamie has become the global marketing manager for Italian food these days. But how would you market … More Q: Who promoted Italian food before Jamie Oliver? A: Renato Guttuso!
Ah, my legs hurt! What a long uphill hike that was! Solunto was a city close to Santa Flavia, on the north-western coast of Sicily. It was founded by Carthaginians (from the city that is now called Tunis) when they colonised Sicily in the 11th century B.C. That was an awfully long time ago to … More Solunto – One of the world’s first multicultural cities?
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?
As I am having an operation, I am offline for a while. However, I am delighted to have friends who have offered to entertain and educate you with some cracking guest posts. Today’s guest post is written by Thorwald Franke, an expert on Plato, the lost island of Atlantis and many things historical. He has … More How Three Hellish Holidays in Sicily led to the Invention of Democracy
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
We all know the story of Archimedes flooding his bathroom, leaping out of his bath, and dashing stark naked through the streets shouting “Eureka!” in excitement at his discovery of the Archimedes Principle of water displacement. But exactly which city’s streets did the world’s first flasher actually dash through? For years I thought it was somewhere … More Eureka! Archimedes the Sicilian Detective
Walking through the doorway of a magnificent Baroque church, and finding youself in a gloomy cave with water dripping on your head, has to be one of life’s most interesting experiences. The church is the Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia. It stands at the very top of Monte Pellegrino (Pilgrim’s Mountain), which overlooks the whole bay … More The Sanctuary of Saint Rosalia on Monte Pellegrino, Palermo
This event happened when he was six years old, and he lived to tell the tale, obviously. The story startled me, though, as he was so blasé about the whole thing that he only got around to telling me about it last month, after eight years of marriage. He had been hanging about by the … More My husband was nearly shot by the Mafia
Q. What do Socrates and a spleen sandwich have in common? A. Read on to find out! There was already a significant Jewish population here in Sicily by the 5th century BC. They came with the Greeks from Athens, which also had a large Jewish community. Since the Jews influenced Greek culture a great deal … More About Jews, Greek Philosophers and Offal sandwiches
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 … More A Lateen, or Latin Sail boat
There’s a small road in Palermo called “Via dei Decollati,” which means “Street of the Beheaded People.” In medieval times, this area was just outside the city and criminals were beheaded here. Unfortunately the Sicilian government was corrupt in those days – not any more, of course! – and many innocent people were beaheaded, too. … More The ‘Cult of the Beheaded People’ in Palermo