Living Quietly: Life in a Sicilian Village

August 30, 2012

I’m a refugee from the 21st-century. Living in Sicily takes me back decades (sometimes centuries).

Life unfolds slowly, with “important” events like these:

*Waving to my neighbor as she dries tomatoes the old-fashioned way:

Drying tomatoes under the August sun in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

*Chatting about the weather with the antique dealer in his vintage Lancia

Driving an old Lancia in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

*Making the acquaintance of the blue-eyed cat of a local baron

Blue Eyes in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Village life may sound B-O-R-I-N-G, but it suits me to a T.


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42 comments to Living Quietly: Life in a Sicilian Village

  • The “drying tomatoes” picture is absolutely great… True Sicilian style… I bet a lot of people around the world would like to see this at least once in their lifetime!

  • Nothing boring at all I call it living 🙂 Just returned from Puglia and so enjoyed the slow village life!
    The blue eyed cat….rockstar!
    Carla x

    • Jann

      Ciao Carla–so glad you enjoyed the Slow Lane in Puglia!!! A wonderful place that I’m dying to visit again.

  • My dear Jann, whoever said living in a village was boring didn’t know what they were talking about! I have lived in a village or two (albeit temporarily) and have always found that life, while it can move at a sedate pace, is always colorful, joyous, and full of laughter. The locals know how to eat, where to shop, and how to have fun! Every time I visit the village near the beach town where my mom has her apartment, I am treated to all this and more. And if I start telling you about her village in Cordoba, we’d be here all day! Oh my! The food, the people, the music! How I love Europe, my friend! Can you tell? 🙂

  • Lena

    Hi Jann, just came home from Sicily after spending 14 days in our casa. We bought a total refurb four years ago and this trip was the first one we could actually stay and sleep over in our house. The house still needs a lot of refurmishment but it was like a dream being able live in it.

    I found your blog a couple of months ago and loving it! All photos are beautiful and the way of life you allow us to look in to is amazing. We love Sicily exactly for the same reasons that you write about and let us readers see in your photos.

    I don’t work due to a health problem but hope to spend much time in Sicily when our house is more finished. My husband will still have to work some time in Sweden but hope to join me as often as possible.

    I’m looking forward to read your blog for a looong time forward so please don’t stop writing!

    Regards Lena

    • Jann

      Ciao Lena–thank you so much for your lovely comments here. I’m so glad you found the blog. Congratulations on finally being able to sleep in your house! I remember the day I moved into mine, and how exciting it was–never mind that I was taking bucket baths and had no not water, etc etc…. I hope to hear more from you and wish you good luck with the rest of the renovation.

  • So inspiring. I want to live my life like this. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Relaxing to stare at. I can look at these photos the whole day.

    Happy weekend! 🙂

    • Jann

      Hi Rizalenio–so glad you feel inspired!!! Go for the life you want to live. Make it happen! Happy weekend back to you.

  • O Jann. It would suit me too! I love this brand of boring. x

  • cemal karahan

    …….I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    • Jann

      Cemal, thanks for that lovely Frost poem!!! And I can just imagine you teaching that to your students in Turkey….

  • Great Jann….this is exactly the charming side of living in a quiet village in the extreme south part of Italy. This is what not-Sicilian people really like and notice when they come and visit our places.
    And when I get bored about the way many things don’t work here..I try not to forget this “vintage lifestyle” we follow and learn through my tourists’eyes that we are really lucky anyway..Maybe from a technological, burocratic social and bla bla bla points of view we are still lacking a lot BUT the HUMAN Relation quality is still very high!
    Your pictures are FANTASTICHE and the first about “i pomodori secchi” reminds me my mammy who, with great atience, still does…
    buona giornata
    @Gian Banchero: I like what you wrote…

    • Jann

      Ciao Lucia–you are right about many things not working in Sicily–it took me well over a year, almost two, to get ENEL gas in my house so I could cook and have hot water! But, yes: these annoyances are more than made up by the quality of human relations, the food, the architecture, and many other things…

  • Ahhhhh. La dolce far niente. Love it.

    • Jann

      Ciao Rosann–you experienced “village life” in Trastevere–not too different really from village life in other parts of Italy…

  • Gian Banchero

    “I’m a refugee from the 21-st. century” …Great, I had to hear that!! Just today I told a friend that I’m really a 19th century person, this I find out every time I’m back in Italy and Sicily when time is spent in ancestral villages where the most exciting parts of the day are shopping, sometimes morning Mass and then the market days when vendors fill the village centers. Of course there’s the occasional need to venture to the big city for a movie, book store or international newspaper, but oh the wonderful peace, tranquility and centering one arrives at without traffic rushes, when talking to village people at length on the streets, bar or market, and not to forget the constant sounds of the church bells that seem like reassuring friends. Many, many of the recipes I often use are from vendors who are more than glad to pass on their recipes, something unimaginable at a large super market… I find that life in the big city is much less vibrant and much more the boring in the long run.

    • Jann

      Ciao Gian Bianchero: as Lucia says, “I like what you wrote”!!! Thank you thank you–you are so right about all of this, or at least they are my thoughts exactly.

  • sandee wheeler

    We all need to take a lesson from you, Jann, and slow our lives down!

  • Hello Jann. I’m a new reader and entranced by your photos and affection for your part-time country. Very glad to have found you. Love your “important” events.

  • Jann,
    thank you. Once again complimenti for your talents.

    • Jann

      Ciao Marisa–so good to hear from you. Thank you! My tech geek is “house-cleaning” my blog and re-adding a link to your wonderful Sicilian food blog. (How did it disappear? I have no idea…) I love the warm olive recipe you just added–I was unable, for some reason, to add a comment…

  • I’ll take that kind of “Boring” any day, Sweet Jann.

    Love the blue eyed cat. Does he meow in Italian?

    Love. Xxxxx

    • Jann

      Yes, Kim, the cat speaks Italian, basically just elongating those vowels and using lots of body language. xxxxxxx

  • Nancy Hersch

    Green with envy

  • Love you loving La Sicilia…
    sometimes being a refugee in those other centuries is great other times not so much

    • Jann

      Charmain–I suppose every century has its plusses and minuses. The Slow Life I love in Sicily is not so beloved by young Sicilians (who prefer New York!), but the man with the cat says he has no desire to travel anywhere–he’s too happy in his village!

  • Sam

    That first photo – looks like you snapped it in the instant just before that lady got hit by the avalanche of rocks and tiles coming down
    behind her.

    • Jann

      Sam, that’s funny. We all have these rocks on our roofs to prevent the tiles from flying off in a gale of wind, but the slightest earthquake would probably unleash an avalanche of rocks upon our heads, as you say.

  • That blue-eyed cat is beautiful!!

  • Bonnie

    Thanks, you made my day. The collection is extraordinary.

  • Nina

    Jann, Your photos never stop amazing me.I always feel like I can jump into the pictures and be part of the action!If this is Boredom, I guess I am a Natural Born Bore!!

  • Aaahhhh..never boring to me either, Jann…….enchanting, yes, mesmerizing, yes, tranquil and oh so special…….but never boring. I am so homesick already! Abbracci grandi

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