Showing posts from June, 2015


High above Taormina you will see Castelmola, a delightful village with magnificent views. The name Castelmola derives from the Norman castle that dominates the village and the word Mola means Millstone, which some say resembles the rock on which Castelmola was built.The houses and buildings look like they are precariously hanging on the rock. The village has breath taking 360° panoramic views down towards Taormina, Mount Etna and over the sparkling Ionian Sea, the mainland coastline and the Sicilian countryside. Photographs taken here are sure to create Insta-envy with your Instagram followers. The village was recently nominated and featured in I Borghi piu belli d’Italia (Italy’s most beautiful Villages) losing out to Montalbano Elicona which is located in the Nebrodi Mountains, North East Sicily. There are three ways you can reach Castelmola, by car, bus and for the brave by foot for a serious uphill climb. However you also have to be brave to go up by car, the

The Beginning of a Love Affair ... Part IV

Duomo, Taormina How we ended up renewing our marriage vows Sicilian style ….. Twenty years ago today I married my best friend. After our big day my husband put on a little weight, I put it down to my wonderful cooking and in particular my love of baking cakes. His wedding ring started to become a little bit tight so we took it to the jewellers and had tiny pieces of gold inserted to expand the ring which had to be inserted in two places to keep its perfect round shape. Overtime the gold weakened at the joins and three years ago today it completely broke, it was time to get a new wedding ring. We had got married in a catholic church in London so it only seemed right to get the new ring blessed by a priest so we decided to have this done whilst at home in Sicily. Our lovely friend Norma had always spoken about her friend Liz who is a wedding planner in Sicily based in Taormina. So I asked Norma if she thought Liz might be able to help, “of course, Liz said send

10 Sicilian Summer Reads (Non-Fiction)

One of the things that always amaze friends and family when they visit our Sicilian home is the amount of books about Sicily that we own, not only that but how many books have actually been written about the island. It is my own little Sicilian library. In my last blog post I shared our favourite Sicily inspired Fiction books, now here are our ten favourite Non-Fiction books, written by people who live or have lived in Sicily, people with Sicilian descendants or those who just visited and fell in love with it.  Read and enjoy ….. My Love Affair with Sicily by Margie Miklas  As a second generation Italian-American, Margie grew up knowing her Sicilian grandparents and always felt closeness to the Sicilian cultural traditions which were maintained by her family. Not until a few years ago did she travel to Sicily for the first time. Here, she felt at home. She fell in love with the people and the culture. She has returned to Sicily over and over again and recounts

10 Sicilian Summer Reads (Fiction)

White Almond Loves ..... So you have packed your passport, swimsuit and suntan lotion, then you are ready for your dream holiday in Sicily, but what to read on the beach? Here (in no particular order) are ten of my favourite fiction Sicily inspired books. The Villa by Rosanna Ley  When Tess received a solicitor’s letter inviting her to claim an inheritance, Villa Sirena which is a house perched on a clifftop on Sicily, she is stunned. Her only link to the island is through her mother Flavia, who left Sicily during World War II and cut all contact with her family. Initially resistant to encouraging Tess going back to her roots, Flavia realises the secrets from her past are about to be revealed and decides to try to explain her actions. The Island Hideaway by Louise Candlish Eleanor is distraught after breaking up with her fiancĂ© Will and decides to follow him to the island hideaway where he is on holiday with the woman who took her place. But on the sh

B&B Marzamemi

Two years ago whilst on a day trip down to South East Sicily to visit the filming locations for the Inspector Montalbano series, we visited the fishing village of Marzamemi. We had seen Marzamemi featured on BBC4’s popular TV programme ‘A Place in the Sun’ and it looked like our kind of place. We stopped for a glass of wine and fell in love with its beauty, tranquillity and the bars and restaurants located in one storey brick buildings decorated with blue paintwork and adorned with bright coloured geraniums. We vowed that we would return again and that next time we would stay overnight to soak up the chilled out nocturnal atmosphere. As we always take Daisy our dog everywhere with us I searched for a dog friendly accommodation and that is how I discovered B&B Marzamemi. Newly opened, B&B Marzamemi is situated in a peaceful location 150 metres from the fine sandy beach and the centre is in an easy walkable distance. It is the perfect place for rest and relaxation.