We went to visit Scicli because of its fame as the location of Montalabano’s Vigata. But even if you’re not a Montalbano fan, it’s a town worth spending time in. Read more

It took me forever to remember to pronounce Scicli as Sheekly and it’s not like I was short of teachers or correctors. Vigata was much more manageable. But while the Vigata in Andrea Camilleri’s books is based on his hometown Porto Empedocle, the Vigata of the TV series is an amalgam of various towns and villages in the Sicilian province of Ragusa, which includes Scicli. Read more

Montalbano likes the water. He likes to swim. And he likes to walk the beach. But looking at his place in Punta Secca and the beach he has outside his door, it looked a little short for some of the beach scenes in the TV show. Read more

In July 2019, one of my favourite men in the whole wide world died. Italian Andrea Camilleri created the character Salvo Montalbano and when Camilleri died, so did Montalbano. A lot like Colin Dexter and Inspector Morse, except that the actor who plays the TV Montalbano – Luca Zingaretti – is still very much alive.

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I’m not a great fan of caves. I may well have overdosed on them when we were in Georgia a few years back, but I tend to lose the plot when in Malta on a blue-sky, blue-sea day with the sun bouncing off the limestone cliffs. There’s something very Enid Blyton-y about it all. Read more

On what has become an annual event each February, the lovely M&M drove us around the island of Malta on a mystery tour. One of the stops was an old fort in Birżebbuġa in the south of the island. Read more

‘Blessed is she who expects nothing, for she shall never be disappointed’ is a motherism that I think I’ve taken to heart. When I went to South Africa a few years back, I had zero expectations. Nada. Zilch. I wasn’t even all that excited about going. Read more

The older I get, the more nervous I get when I travel. No. It’s not nervousness, it’s anxiety. When I’m ready to come home, I don’t want anything to prevent that happening. I’m the three-hours-before-boarding airport type. I don’t want to be rushed or hassled. I just want to get home. Read more

I’m easily confused. I have no sense of direction. I couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag on a good day. Had I been on my own, I’d still be walking around the old part of Zanzibar City known as Stone Town (Mji Mkongwe in Swahili, which means old town). The maze of narrow streets and the sameness of the shops made it all difficult to navigate. But occasionally, I recognised where I was. Those rare moments of recognition built on each other to the point where I almost felt at home.

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I’m not a particularly strong swimmer. And I like having control of a situation. No surprise then that snorkelling isn’t high on my list of thing to do. But I’ll admit to being the victim of the modern-day curse: FOMO – fear of missing out. Read more