Sicily Under–and On–Her Skin

October 11, 2011

Two years ago my friend Angela had the symbol of Sicily inked upon her.

Tattoo of the Trinacria in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

She had come to one of those major crossroads in life, the kind where you step into scary, unknown territory.

She wanted to celebrate the moment.

Stamping the symbol of Sicily on her skin seemed appropriate, she explains, because in recreating herself, she had to start the inside, from her island roots.

She choose a baroque, feminine interpretation of the traditional trinacria (see flag below).

Tattoo of Sicily's Trinacria, copyright Jann Huizenga

What is the trinacria, you may ask?

The Kingdom of Trinacria–literally the Kingdom of the Triangle–is an old name for Sicily.

The traditional Sicilian flag has three legs (representing the triangular island), three stalks of wheat (representing the breadbasket that is Sicily), and Medusa’s face. Medusa was a monster who is used as a talisman on Sicily’s flag to protect the island from evil. 

Sicily's Flag, copyright Jann Huizenga

The Trinacria on Sicily's Flag


How have you celebrated or marked a major crossroads in your life?


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22 comments to Sicily Under–and On–Her Skin

  • Brava Angela…..e bella! Jann, great shot, I love the light of the Cathedral behind her! Getting excited about the winter in Sicily! Can’t wait to get there! Are you ready for a cioccolata calda? 🙂

  • Michelle Relae

    Jann, I would love to meet Angela! Actually, I got my tattoo, here in the states. I will be in Sicily from Dec 15 to January 15. I really hope you are there at the same time—please let me know! And mine is a traditional Trincaria , but Angela’s curly one is ever so lovely!

  • Giovanni Cerami

    Thanks for bringing us another unique perspective on life in Sicily. I think the design is beautiful and tasteful, even understated. The monochromatic design looks great, like a piece of jewelry, a nice complement. I like to mark great events by going out for a coffee with friends, but I think when the moment is right, you know it, and somehow end up at a tattoo parlor!
    On a footnote, heads up! I’ll be arriving in Catania 18 October and will be taking language/culture classes for a week at Federico II – School of Italian Language and Culture in Catania
    and staying at
    Argiturismo Biologico Del Etna Trecastagri for a week or so while I get my bearings and then heading west to Palermo… I’ll be on the island for 3 weeks, rented a car, so who knows, I may see you around! 🙂

  • Jann, while I’m not a fan of tattoos, I have to admit this one is beautifully done. If you ask me, I have yet to commemorate a milestone with anything this rad. Hmm…you’ve given me food for thought. I wonder what I should do the next time I reach a crossroads in my life. Maybe I’ll make the Significant Other get a tattoo for the both of us! 🙂

  • Dennis Berry

    All this talk about crossroads brings to mind a Rilke poem. Not a quote only from memory. Quel beau feu vous avez allume’a un carrefour de ma vie. It makes me think of Sicily and a young woman i met there in the late 80,s.

  • Michelle Relae

    This post is so interesting to me, Jann, because I got this tattoo just 3 months ago for the EXACT same reason: a major crossroads in my life. Am looking forward to being in Sicily very soon! I hope we will meet up for coffee!

    • Jann

      Michelle–then you must meet Angela!!! What an odd coincidence. Did you get the tattoo in Sicily or the US?? Keep in touch and let me know when you’re traveling. xxx

  • —I think that tattoo is quite sexy & lovely. Especially on the back like that.

    Wish I had the guts to get one! :))

  • A tattoo is on my mind, this one is beautiful I’ll show my MIL she is from Salina. Crossroads are the best type of road…
    ciao lisa

  • Cathy

    I agree with Louciao, too busy surviving to realize when I was at crossroads in my life, only saw them as such in hindsight 🙂 It is a beautiful design, and I don’t mind them on others but I’m not much into tatoos myself…. but… you never know what the future holds… Now that I’m older I may recognize when I’ve hit a crossroad and decide to do something wild & crazy about it…..

  • Michelle Relae

    I actually have this very same tattoo on my ankle~~~ I absolutely love it and get compliments on it all the time!

  • As tattoos go, this is a beautiful design to have chosen. Marking crossroads in my life? Hmmm…guess I was too busy trying to make it through without getting run over to stop and erect a monument. But it’s a good idea to keep in mind for the next one! Not a tattoo, though. I’m too old. And squeamish about pain.

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