Stories of Life in Tuscany & Sicily

Life in Italy is a love-hate thing. I admit to being seduced by Tuscany’s magical golden light, besotted by the Renaissance, tantalized by Sicily’s sensuous pastry shops, charmed by the Italian language and then quickly disenchanted by the brutal reality of getting almost anything done. I’ve suffered heartless years of waiting for an insurance claim, submitted to diabolical rules for getting a driving license, and wept broken-hearted sobs when the plumber never called back. The tempting dream to live in Italy may sound like a romantic endeavor, but it helps to be nuts.

Sour Cherry Cake – Torta di Amarene

When sour cherries are plentiful, try making a simple rustic cake with the added crunch of almonds. Name it torta di amarene con mandorle and you've got yourself an Italian dessert. Here's the recipe. [more...]


Walking in Sicily – Foraging for Wild Asparagus

Foraging for wild asparagus is just an excuse to enjoy the beautiful countryside while walking in Sicily. Then there's lunch, which may or may not be asparagus risotto. [more...]


Heirloom Apples from Mt Etna Sicily–Italian Apple Cake

Small heirloom apples grown on the slopes of the Mt Etna volcano in Sicily, are delicious on their own or try them in this Italian apple cake recipe. [more...]


Have Sausage, Will Travel – Exchanging Regional Foods in Italy

Italians who travel to another town to visit family in Italy feel compelled to bring samples of the best of their regional food, exchanging it for local specialties to bring back home. I’ve lived on the family trade route between sausages, olive oil and gorgonzola. [more...]


Italian Culture and Traditions – Avoid the Gift of Death

Italian traditions indicate which flowers are appropriate on certain occasions - avoid giving the gift of death, a no-no in the Italian culture. [more...]


How to Cure Green Olives

A simple recipe for how to cure green olives that does not require daily attention. [more...]


A Tour of Contrasts in Sicily – The Litter Scourge

Sicily has a wealth of fascinating sites and stunning natural beauty that make for an amazing tour of many contrasts, but it also has a scourge that is hard to come to terms with: litter. [more...]


Wildflowers in Italy – The Magical Mandrake Plant

Autumn wildflowers in Italy include the magical mandrake plant, said to have mysterious powers. [more...]


Carob Harvest in Eastern Sicily – Food Culture in Italy

A visit to a carob mill when the carob harvest is in full swing in eastern Sicily, and time to contemplate the food culture of Italy during a walk among magnificent carob trees. [more...]


Caretta Caretta Loggerhead Sea Turtles Released in Eastern Sicily

The San Lorenzo beach in eastern Sicily was the setting for the recent release of nine loggerhead sea turtles (caretta caretta) by the Sicily Wildlife Fund. [more...]


My Life in Italy
Living in Italy