Every day life in Sicily

October 18, 2014

Gypsies PalermoIf a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around, does it make noise? That’s what comes to mind when I visit a different country and look at every-day life going on around us. While we’re involved in our own lives and world, the rest of the world’s going on simultaneously without us even being aware of it. I don’t know why that amazes me, but it always does.

cotton cndy

Life in other countries can be so different from ours, and yet in many ways very much the same.  I couldn’t shake those thoughts as I looked at every-day life in Sicily. Above is a cotton candy cart in Palermo offering all sizes, not just American mega-sized cones of swirled sugar. I love the tiny little ones, perfect for tiny little fists. “Peppa Pig”–don’t you wonder about how they chose the name?
narrow street2Laundry drying in the sun and a woman carrying the day’s groceries down this narrow street, seemingly unaware of the history in every cobblestone and arch.  In Ortygia (Siracusa).

2014-10-11 19.27.27A chestnut vendor was heating his goods. I really wanted some, but M. didn’t and on our way back there was so much dark smoke I think the vendor had burned his goods.

2014-10-12 13.44.41Italian leather was yummy and all over the place. For once, I just wasn’t up to trying anything on.

2014-10-12 13.47.16Italian design is very recognizable, isn’t it?  More works of art than something I’d wear.

2014-10-11 19.16.27Even on street corners, icons are venerated.  The Virgin’s big.

2014-10-13 11.29.15Big city life in Palermo is diverse. Never saw someone dressed like this in rural villages.

2014-10-12 13.49.34The Italian Red Cross had a booth in Palermo, I think this was.

2014-10-12 13.55.41I loved this woman’s stance. “Don’t mess with me!” Classic Sicilian woman.

2014-10-12 13.48.42I took this as aspirational for Sicilians but meant for tourists.  Frette linens would be great, but they’re more expensive than my budget allows.



2014-10-11 19.18.50When handbills are posted on historic buildings they look almost like works of art, don’t they? But a reminder that life is going on, regular life, even as we visit.  Of course, in the U.S. we don’t often seen the Virgin Mary on a handbill.

2013-03-05 10.52.36Driving in Sicily –or any part of Italy, really–is always an adventure. As is parking. These small cars rarely look as good as this red one. Usually they’re dented and scratched, because the rules of the road simply do not exist. The roads are pandemonium.

2014-10-09 19.08.00This gorgeous blue color appeared every once in a while and never failed to catch my eye. This was at an estate on a beautiful piece of property, but the house smelled musty, which would’ve driven me crazy. I’m in love with that blue, though.

2014-10-08 13.11.43Just like in the U.S., people put out photos of their crazy relatives. I wish the guy in the turban was related to me just so I could put his photo out.  Maybe I’ll find a photo like that and put it out anyway.

latte art cuI never saw a single Starbucks. Thankfully. But coffee art has definitely taken hold.

2013-03-05 15.59.10Even Italian pay phones are works of art. Seems like everyone’s got a cell phone, though, so I never saw anyone actually using one of these.

2013-03-05 15.08.52It’s not spelled or pronounced the same, but in my fever dream I thought it was, so I took a quick photo.

2013-03-05 10.57.01We waited and waited for the bride, but she must have been inside. Yes, life goes on even when we are not there to see it.

2013-03-05 10.53.11Italian men are peacocks and this sign shows just how much they are.

2013-03-05 10.45.41The green shutters on the balcony are almost as gorgeous as the blue. Shutters definitely serve a purpose–they’re not just decorative. They keep out the heat and cold and sun

2013-03-05 09.51.18This was a stall selling oils and nuts.
balconyWhat’s behind those windows, I wonder?


sox display
Crazy socks display. Definitely attention-getting.
menAnd everywhere, men sit on the street, cleaning sea urchins or just smoking and talking.

2013-03-03 19.53.35A trattoria. Dinner here was pretty good, but the people-watching was better.

2013-03-05 10.05.32Buskers weren’t doing a great business, but they were way more exotic-looking than the ones we have in the U.S.

2013-03-05 16.37.42I love how people walk down the uneven streets staring at their cellphones.

2014-10-13 11.29.43It’s risky, too, because Italians love to put tricky little half steps, like grace notes, everywhere, just to make sure you’re paying attention.

2013-03-05 15.51.40I loved this pop of floral color against the old stone of the shrine.

2013-03-05 17.24.09Babies are babies the world over, and this Sicilian boy was cute as can be.

19 comments on “Every day life in Sicily
  1. Liv says:

    It’s been 20 years since I’ve been. Do they still smoke like chimneys over there? Great pics Carol. Keep snapping!

  2. D. A. Wolf says:

    For all the times I’ve lived/traveled in France, I’ve never made it to anywhere in Italy. My son was there on school earlier in the year and loved it.

    Your photos are enticing. (And I would have lingered in front of those shoes!)

  3. Love the variety of shots

  4. Each scene looks like a work of art to me. I wonder if folks from other countries feel that way when they visit America. I can’t imagine that being so. But then again, we surely take much of it for granted.

    That baby boy is, YES, adorable!

  5. Amazing photos! It feels like I’m there too.

  6. Diane says:

    We couldn’t get enough of the people watching. My daughter couldn’t get enough of the narrow streets with laundry hanging across. So . . . Italian! The sun is different there. Warmer, somehow. And the air is still and fragrant. I think you should definitely get a picture of ‘Great, Great Uncle Bob’ in a turban and display him proudly. Your pictures caught the essence perfectly!

  7. “The Virgin’s big!” Ha ha! Love these photos, your commentary and getting to see a slice of life in Sicily. That’s one part of Italy we’ve never visited and this so makes me want to get on a plane.

  8. Barb Best says:

    Thoroughly absorbing! Love the photos and insights.

  9. Lynne says:

    Love these photos! Hope to travel there one day!

  10. Mary Buchan says:

    Wow! Wish I was there with you!

  11. Share more! I love the snippets of real life, not posed photo-shoots, and of course I learn so much about the photographer by what she notices, shoots, and chooses to share!

  12. Ruth Curran says:

    Life does go on even when there is no one there to notice… I just love that. I love that blue too – I believe it is cerulean blue and it is so captivating!

    Thank you for sharing the photos and the stories — just love them! 720 left to go?

  13. It looks amazing. It’s definitely a place on my bucket list. You are right that blue is stunning.

  14. michelle says:

    What amazing pictures!

  15. Lana says:

    These pictures made me so happy. What a lovely place.

  16. bodynsoil says:

    I hope to make it there myself someday, if not, I’ve certainly enjoyed your photos and your captions.

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