Sicilian Love: the madness of the writer’s wife

If your dad wants you to marry his business partner’s child, you do it. That’s how it works in Sicily in 1894. Luckily, Maria Antonietta Portulano and Luigi Pirandello like each other. Good for them. Alright, there is an intellectual ocean between the Sicilian novelist and playwright and his wife, but they are definitely on…

Sicilian Love: the countess goes to court

When Countess Giulia Trigona went to court, she meant to break up only with her husband, not with her lover too. Breaking up with her lover was actually a damn good idea. Pity it came a bit too late. The extramarital affair of Countess Trigona and Baron Paternò had been an all-consuming whirlwind, witnessed by…

Sicilian Love: the viceroy’s wife enormous horns

‘Be patient. Tonight is cold and I want my husband with me,’ Donna Felice says to Eufrosina, who’s hiding half-naked in the balcony. Donna Felice knows that her husband has an long-running affair with the twenty-year-old baroness – everyone else in Palermo knows too – but tonight she wants her husband with her. Power, money,…

Sicilian Love: the tragic story of the Baroness of Carini

Laura Lanza was born on 7th October 1529. This was her first mistake. Her second mistake was to be the daughter of Cesare Lanza, an arrogant and violent Sicilian aristocrat who was used to always getting things his way. Her third mistake was falling in love with Ludovico Vernagallo instead of Ludovico’s cousin, Vincenzo La…

“Are you a good driver?” Test

Originally posted on The Sicilian Mama:
Why do I keep going on about driving? Because, unless we live in a large city with good public transports, we spend ages behind the steering wheel. Also, as soon as we become parents, we turn into the kids’ default taxi service. So let’s see if we are up…

Too Old For Sex?

Definitely not. According to a piece of research from The University of Manchester and NatCen Social Research, many people enjoy active sex lives well into their seventies and eighties. More than half (54%) of men and almost a third (31%) of women over the age of 70 reported to be still sexually active, with a…

Should Women Propose?

In this age of equal opportunities, a surprisingly tiny number of women pops “the questions”. According to a survey of married couples in America, only in 5% of cases it was the woman to propose, even though three quarters of Americans say that it would be fine for the woman to propose. In an age…

The Dangers of a Wet Neck

Nothing is more dangerous than a smack of cold air to the back of your neck. We Italians have learn it from our mothers, just as they’ve learnt it from theirs. From Romulus and Remus’ furry mother to today’s waxed ones, over the millennia, the wisdom is passed on. Extreme changes of temperature in the…

Pasta alla Trapanese

“The way to a person’s heart is through the stomach.” This might not be anatomically correct, but it’s true: feeding is the most basic and primitive act of caring (and one that animals understand too). Another act of caring, I say, is teaching others how to cook. So here it is, from me to you,…

The Bikini Test

Originally posted on The Sicilian Mama:
We Italians spend lots of time and energy getting our bodies ready for the infamous ‘bikini test’. With 3400 km of coastline, most Italian end up on the beach at some point or other during the summer. I remember looking at shop windows and saying to myself: “I’ll buy…