Bronte: Pistachio Perfection

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I smelt them before I realized what they were. There were waves of eggy, smokey, boiled milk incense. Pistachio nuts. ‘Can I chat to you about pistachios?’ I asked the woman raking out the pistachios on sheets in the sun. … Continued

Agira: Viviana, La Bella Agirana

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Posted from Address not found. It had been a turbulent day. When I arrived at Caltanissetta, I discovered that the note-book covering the last six weeks of travel had fallen from my back pocket somewhere between Canicatti and Caltanissetta. This … Continued

Caltanissetta: Downs & Ups

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It was a scene unimaginable in the Caltanissetta of ten years ago, when I was last here. The Corso Umberto was full of kids playing table tennis, table football, chess, fencing, archery, weight lifting and chucking around a rugby ball … Continued

Porto Empedocle: La Rustichella

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Posted from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Italy. When I got back from Lampedusa, I made a final visit to Porto Empedocle before heading for Caltanissetta. I may have been a bit intemperate about Porto Empedocle in a past blog. I don’t … Continued

Lampedusa: Refuge

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Posted from Lampedusa, Sicily, Italy. Said the banner outside the school library on Lampedusa. I first saw them at night in Porto Empedocle, disembarking from the ferry that runs every day between the port and Lampedusa, a column of black … Continued

Lampedusa: Pit Stops

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Posted from Address not found. Unlikely as it may sound, Lampedusa has something of a gastronomic track record. The Romans rated the garum, that pungent, potent, fishy HP sauce of the Roman world, very highly. Fishing is the other side … Continued

Lampedusa: The Last Frontier

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From a distance Lampedusa as if someone had left a tile of marble floating on the sea. This is the last outpost of Europe before you reach North Africa. Indeed, it’s far closer to Africa than it is to Europe, … Continued

Porto Empedocle: The Miracle of St Calogero

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Posted from Address not found. And then came the miracle of St Calogero. Porto Empedocle was a bit like a night club. By day tatty and depressing, by night it underwent a mysterious transformation, if not into a place of … Continued

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