Talking in tongues

Quintessentially about me.
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Sicily in Pictures: The art of hunting

Sicily in Pictures: The art of hunting

Art of hunting in Sicily

The sport of hunting is widely diffused all over Sicily and Italy.

The Greenie in me is terribly uncomfortable about living side by side with this sport.

However I can understand the cultural value of this tradition as it has connections to the proud agricultural world, the community and families from the past.

These empty cartridges are symbolic of an ancient sport which reflect some fine…

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Sicilian saying of the day: Learning

Sicilian saying of the day: Learning

The historical 'Albero di cento cavalli', Catania. (image from

The historical ‘Albero di cento cavalli’, Catania.
(image from

U lingu si torci quannu e’ virdi

Literally the wood is moulded when it is green.

Sicilian wisdom is practical, true and often uses metaphors from the natural world.

This phrase is symbolic of the islands basic ‘folk wisdom.’

In fact habits and character are best moulded in youth.

What is the english equivalent?

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Blogging Around the world: Surviving in Italy

Blogging Around the world: Surviving in Italy

This week on Blogging Around the World, we are back in ‘Bella Italia’ to be specific Florence and a sassy American gal called Misty and the struggles she describes on her blog  Surviving in Italy.

Now there is plenty of blog action happening out of Florence but you aren’t going to find anything quite like Surviving in Italy, with it’s mixture of humor, satire, keen observation and capybara…

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Quirky questions about life in Italy

Quirky questions about life in Italy

Life in Italy

This time around those crazy bloggers from C.O.S.I have decided to tackle your questions about living in Italy full-time.

To be honest I haven’t been asked many questions so I got my virtual and real Facebook friends to send me some random ones, which I’ll answer below.

Maryann asks: How is the plumbing and the water?

Well, the average Italian bathroom is made up of a strange contraption…

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Sicily in Pictures: Surprise discoveries

Sicily in Pictures: Surprise discoveries

Treasure trove of Prickly Pear collectors at Noto,Syracuse.

Treasure trove of Prickly Pear collectors at Noto,Syracuse.

Even if I dislike shopping around touristy type shops I am often surprised to find stunningly original items in amongst the tacky kitsch. Working my through I heart Sicily post cards, every possibly shaped lava sculpture, bamboo flutes and knickknacks I saw these little babies. A series of handcrafted tools used to pick those…

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The Stone Garden of Noto

The Stone Garden of Noto

Typical products on sale at markets Piazzale Marconi, Noto Syracuse

Typical products on sale at markets Piazzale Marconi, Noto Syracuse

Shaking off the car sickness brought on by the endless curves of the drive I keenly stretch my legs. The bus drops me off near the public gardens on front of Piazzale Marconi a few minutes walk from the centre of Noto, Syracuse.

The late May springtime is usually a spectacular prelude to a long hot Sicilian summer, but this…

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On road to Noto

On road to Noto

Ficarra, Messina. One of the many towns happily balancing itself on the mountains.

Ficarra, Messina. One of the many towns happily balancing itself on the mountains.

The golden moment of the early Sicilian early morning overwhelms me, church steeples from the cramped towns hanging off the Nebrodi Mountains for dear life are lit up with a distinctly auburn glow. I rolled out of bed this morning at four am for a day trip by bus to Noto, Syracuse, so things are still a little…

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Tongue tied in Italy

Tongue tied in Italy

This week our newly baptized blogging group C.O.S.I ­ Crazy Observations by Stranieri in Italy is tackling the tricky topic of our struggling with the Italian language while living on this particular peninsular. It is always a challenge for non native speakers of any language to learn and assimilate but Italy has its own particular surprises reserved for struggling expats.

  COSI language collage

Before moving to…

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W​hat to do With 10 Days in Western Australia

W​hat to do With 10 Days in Western Australia

Today Unwilling Expat welcomes a lovely guest post by Jessica from The Turquoise Compass

Western Australia

Conto Beach

After spending 6 weeks on Australia’s East Coast, I couldn’t leave without getting a taste of the West Coast as well. With only3 months in Australia (relatively speaking), I can’t do it all (even though I want to), so I had to pick and choose. Australia is a gigantic country with so many…

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Blogging around the world: Multifarious Meanderings

Blogging around the world: Multifarious Meanderings

Next up on the Blogging Around the World bandwagon is a delightful chit chat with Joanna from Multifarious Meanderings who enlightens us about family, humor, life and misadventures in the Hérault region of France.

Joanna says on her about page that: Multifarious Meanderings is simply an opportunity for her to write up and share a few moments in life, the odds and sods, the bits and bobs,…

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Sicilian word of the day: Siroccato

Sicilian word of the day: Siroccato

The sun burnt landscape of the countryside near Nicosia, Enna.

The sun burnt landscape of the countryside near Nicosia, Enna.

The sirocco is an infernal African air current from the desert who whips up the heat in the Mediterranean to unbearable levels during the summer . If this hot wind is still the day is pleasant but if it is on the prowl it makes the air too hot to breathe.

Someone who is siroccatohas fallen victim to the sirocco, literally…

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The clockwork marvel at Messina

The clockwork marvel at Messina


Messina’s bell tower decorated with golden statues

A few weeks ago I shared a photo of the impressive bell tower near the Duomo of Messina and was surprised by the level of interest in this landmark, hence this post.

I’ve been taking people to visit the bell tower ever since moving to Sicily. The mechanical aspects of the tower are a little bit dull for those that don’t have a particular…

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A Sicilian wish list: Magical experiences for summer in Sicily

A Sicilian wish list: Magical experiences for summer in Sicily

Church of San Giuseppe Corso Umberto, Taormina

Church of St Catherine Piazza XI Aprile, Taormina

Daphne’s house: Giardini Naxos, Castelmola and Taormina

Taormina is a beautiful town to explore but it is terribly touristy and there are many other things to see in the vicinity.

Be sure to visit Casa Cusenian historic house which became like a real character in one of the best books around about Sicily by the late great Daphne Phelps titled…

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A journey to the Volcano with Venero Armanno

A journey to the Volcano with Venero Armanno

Venero Armanno

Venero Armanno is a formidable Australian novelist with an equally impressive biography. He has published a collection of short stories and nine novels, three of which have been published internationally. In 2002 his novel The Volcano won Best Australian Fiction Book in the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and was shortlisted for the Courier Mail Book of the Year Award. 

Born in…

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