Sicily in black and white

Sicily has dazzling colours – carpets of spring flowers, a glinting blue Mediterranean sea, bright majolica-tiled church domes, gleaming fruit and veg in its kaleidoscopic markets.

But there’s a monochrome Sicily that we learned from the movies, whether it’s the scenes of Vito Corleone’s childhood life in ‘The Godfather’ or Ingrid Bergman gambolling around in ‘Stromboli’.

Just for fun once, I shot a roll of black-and-white photos, while on a research trip for the Rough Guide to Sicily.

I deliberately stripped out the colour from vibrant places like Taormina, Palermo, Agrigento and Mount Etna, and you know what – turns out, nothing of Sicily’s exuberant glory is lost.

I love these images – they remind me of curled-at-the-edges vintage postcards, the sort that you still might find in a dusty Palermo backstreet bookshop.

Can’t you see yourself here, in linen jacket and Panama hat or Audrey Hepburn dress?

To see something of contemporary Sicily, by the way, I highly recommend ‘The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife‘ – stories and images from a highly astute commentator.

  1. Love the photos.
    It all looks so different in black and white. I have such great memories of many of the paces in your photos and the vivid colours.
    We are going back to Sicily (Syracusa) later in the year for an extended stay and are so looking forward to it.


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