Welcome to my first blog entry! I thought it would be appropriate to share a bit about my background. If you haven’t read my ‘about’ section…I was born in 1989 in South Africa to a Sicilian mother and SA/German/Welsh father (yes, mixed breed and loving it!) My grandparents were a HUGE influence in my life and decided to take me on my first overseas trip, at the tender age of 9, where I was introduced to the Sicilian side of the family, and returned again when I was 23. Let’s just say that I have never been the same since then, decided to take photos and share them one day! Sicily opened me to a country and culture that I never knew I existed in…
My family lives in a town called Catania. Below is the view from my balcony…Mount Etna. It’s pretty because it’s a volcano and yes, it’s active!
“You are in my dreams, never wake me up..” Street Art is everywhere, including this…
… Why not?
Bumper to bumper traffic? Nope! The streets are too narrow, save space! Everywhere we went, there were a few cars with no side mirrors either.
Churches. Churches everywhere.
My excitement as we wait for the bus. I also probably have the lightest skin colour in all of Sicilia.
Couldn’t touch the floor on the bus #ShortPeopleProblems. Oh, this is Nonna Amelia (my grandmother).
The Duomo, which literally means The Cathedral is in the city centre. Elephants in Sicily are a symbol for good luck and can be seen in many buildings and statues around the area. I LOVE elephants, so I was in my element! The detail in the sculpting is fascinating 🙂
Some site-seeing at the Roman and Greek theatres. “We’ll just build high name-brand, modern shops around some history, no problem.”
More walking (uphill!). That’s my Mama on the left!
I got hungry (as usual) and HAD to stop for an ‘Arancini’. It’s only the best “snack” to have, EVER! It’s bolognaise sauce with mozzarella cheese in the centre, rolled in a rice ball, covered with bread crumbs and deep-fried! To die for!
This ancient castle in the city centre was exceptionally beautiful inside and out, however we were not allowed to take photos inside.
I absolutely love this photo. I can still hear the accordion playing while strolling in the city. Music is everywhere…You just have to listen.
GELATO pit-stop! No one in the world can make ice-cream like this!
Most people generally assume Italians are all about pasta and pizza… NOPE. This is the local fish market in the city. You can get literally ANY type of fresh ‘edible’ sea creature here…
…the smell though.
…talking about food…
oh and that hand sign is a part of the Italian language, not only ‘sousies vir jou’ back home in SA.
I just LOVE this photo. Nonna is so cool!
My Nonna has always spoken to me in Italian, cooked Italian meals and is gracious in everything she does. It was so good to experience the culture with her in her home town. At least I’ve got the food and language part down…
City Centre Gardens…
…of course, I had to hug a thousand-year old tree 🙂
So…night life got interesting! This is the front door of a restaurant we were taken to called Turrisi, where everything in the restaurant (except the food) is in the shape of a penis! We were giggling like little girls the whole evening!
At first, Nonna had no idea what we were laughing about…
…I had fun though 🙂
After dinner, there’s always the smell of roasted chestnuts in the air. They are roasted in these homemade “ovens” and sold in the street. So good…
We “braai” in Sicily too!
And eat A LOT of pasta, of course…
…or just make it.
But we ALWAYS sit around the table, have a glass of wine with our meal and enjoy the company. That’s what it’s about at the end of the day. Grateful to have spent this last meal with my Nonna’s brother, who sadly passed shortly after we left Sicily.
I was very glad to meet my Nonna’s aunt of 96 years old, before she passed away. Got to snap a photo of the four generations…
I also decided to join my family in paying their respects to those that have passed away. In Sicily, the cemetery is like a little city, highly looked after, and beautiful in its own way. Every year, one pays respect by putting flowers on the tombstone.
My great-grandfather, Barbaro Laudani.
My great-grandmother, Angela Vinchiguerra, on the right and her mother.
After that, I needed something to cheer me up…so I got more gelato!
I hope that you reading this have learnt a little bit of Sicily. I wish I could share more about the island, as there’s so much to do there and learn. But if there’s one thing I took away from Sicily, is that Life is Art, everything that you taste, explore, see, smell and learn is Art and this art needs to be passed down and taught to others, and I’m so grateful to have learnt this from my family.
Until next time, Sicilia…