Su Nuraghe, Sardinia

Picture the scene: it’s late morning at Sardinia’s Cagliari Elmas airport. Monsieur and I have been awake since dawn but haven’t had time for breakfast. The low-cost airline has high-cost sandwiches which we avoid, mostly because they already look curled and cardboardy, and the coffee looks like something that might spurt out of a long-disused farmhouse tap. Monsieur…

An Evening in Trastevere

If UK citizens are honest, they’ll ‘fess up to the fact that although the recent Royal Wedding provided some necessary uplift of spirits in the land, the best part of it was not Pippa Middleton’s derrière (no matter how pert), but the national Royal Wedding holiday that was bestowed on we lowly subjects of HM…

Porto Rotondo, Sardinia

In early May, the Sardinian summer season is slowly kicking off. The atmosphere’s halcyon, the sky cerulean, the waters clear and flowers exploding with colour everywhere you look, yet the tourist hordes have yet to land. It’s paradise.  One typically fine morning, Monsieur and I drove to Porto Rotondo, a village with impressive marina just south of the…

Eating the dream at Peter Pan Gelateria, Nuoro

Monsieur and I had been driving for most of the day, leaving Cagliari early so we could see some of Sardinia’s west coast and central areas before arriving in Porto Cervo. Our guidebooks recommended a break in Nuoro (also pronounced ‘Nugoro’ in Sardinian). One of the island’s literary greats, Grazia Deledda, was born and  lived there…

Tinnura, Sardinia – Where the walls don’t only have ears…

Sardinia is an island of secrets and quiet beauty, the most precious delights of which are likely to be tucked away from tour bus routes. Driving into the island’s hinterland on a warm May day, Monsieur and I rounded a bend on a country highway to discover one such unexpected treasure: the painted village of Tinnura. Tinnura’s church lies…

Sicily – Through Rose-Tinted Lenses

It’s official: I need a waterproof camera. When Monsieur and I were caught in a Sicilian deluge in the little town of Trapani, I couldn’t help myself; I kept on snapping. Even in the grey of the downpour, shooting Trapani’s buildings was worth getting a little wet. Or so I thought. Meanwhile, Monsieur’s camera stayed…

The Super Citrons of Sicily

It’s a bad day in the Epicurienne household if we run out of lemons. Monsieur and I use them for just about everything – squeezed over salads, in sauces for fish and seafood, in lemony vinaigrettes, on spaetzle, on roast potatoes… So imagine my delight on finding gigantic lemons in Italy! The first time I…

The Butchers of Corleone

The Mafia were constantly in my thoughts as we travelled around Sicily. This may have had something to do with the book I was reading at the time, John Follain’s The Last Godfathers, which was so cram-packed with gruesome murder and body disposal methodology that I was finding it hard to look at an oil barrel…

Marsala and Hutch

Leaving Trapani proved a little more troublesome than we’d anticipated, mostly because of the downpour that drenched us minutes after leaving the wonderful little Cantina Siciliana, where we’d refuelled in anticipation of an afternoon packed with activity. Just before the deluge began, Monsieur and I had been happily photographing Trapani’s buildings. We dashed between dripping…

Slow-ing Down in Trapani

For our first full day in Sicily, Monsieur and I took the advice of a friend and headed for the north-west coast of the island, to a town called Trapani. Dark clouds loomed but, ever the optimists, we drove on, along the autostrada where anti-mafia Judge Giovanni Falcone’s convoy was blown up by an under-road…

A Very Sicilian Supper

One night in Palermo, Monsieur and I decided not to take the restaurant recommendations of the hotel or our travel guides; instead we would sniff out somewhere good in the neighbourhood. Little did we know that this would be one of THE dining experiences of the entire Sicilian expedition and NOT because of the food….

The first supper at Zafferano

It was getting dark as Monsieur and I set off to explore something of Palermo on our first day in Sicily. We enjoyed the window-shopping along the Via R Settimo, later rejoining the broad Via Roma, where discount shops and mobile phone outlets were busy with post-Christmas sale business. My favourite window was for a…