All posts tagged: Sicily

Ciao, Sicilia! Sicily Travel Guides

Ciao, Sicilia! I mean even that alone sounds sexy, no? Dolce & Gabbana built their brand around it. As an American living in Italy, it can be easy to fall into that La Dolce Vita myth. Everything is beautiful, everywhere is magical. Though, being primarily based in Northern Italy, I’ll let you in on something: Southern Italy has my heart. From my time in Puglia in my early 20s, to now, Sicily is decidely my happy place in Italy. Maybe it’s the island life, I know it’s the hospitality, food, people, ‘tude. The people are warmer, their accents more melodic, more swaggy. Tuscany is beautiful, but I truly believe, Sicily is what Americans want when they come to Italy. A lot of Italian-Americans are Southern or Sicilian… so maybe it’s the familiar? Did you know that in 1945 and 1946 a strong Sicilian separatist movement campaigned for Sicily to be admitted as a U.S. state? Black Americans, you might be drawn to Sicily too… from True Romance to Little White Lies, are they those mythic …

Nneya in front of testi di mori shop, original Black Sicilians

Why Do I Love Sicily? Are Sicilians Black?

Are Sicilians Black? No, but the warmth of it’s people, culture, food and multiculturalism makes Sicily my favorite Italian region. While starting my travel series, Ciao, Sicilia, I had a think about why I love Sicily. What was supposed to be three short sentences turned into paragraphs. Yes, Taormina, Sicily was where Michele proposed but even touching down in Sicily, in Catania, immediately, I knew I was going to love it. It’s the warmth of both the people and climate. When we first arrived in Catania, it was a hot June afternoon. The heat was oppressive but seeing the ornate balconies of the beautiful Sicilian baroque buildings, I wanted to take it all in and explore. Smart Sicilians had shuttered themselves inside to avoid the mid-day sun. The aged decadent architecture reminded me of Havana. The first thing we did was eat and the heaping portions and warm smiles serving the food reminded me of my own family’s West Indian background. On another trip to Sicily, I even spotted a Jamaican restaurant in Syracuse! Sicily …

Taormina under Mt Etna by Nneya Richards

The Perfect Weekend in Taormina, Sicily

You may have heard of Taormina, a hilltop town on the east coast of Sicily because of its glitzy international film festival or as it’s one of the towns on the magical Mount Etna hiking trail. The allure of Taormina is easy to understand. It’s a picture perfect Italian town showcasing Sicily’s rich history through its architecture, dating back to all of Taormina’s former rulers: Greeks, Romans, Byzantine, the Arabs, the Normans, the French and the Spanish. In more recent years Taormina was a favorite haunt of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton and Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Bougainvilleas and plants in colorful ceramics adorn balconies. Nonnas hang laundry to take in the rays of the sun. Luxury stores dot Taormina’s main drag, Corso Umberto, right next to generations old gelaterie and Sicilian artisan shops. It’s the kind of place you want to stroll hand in hand with your bae down romantic side streets, just dodging a guy on a vespa. The stunning cliffside view of the Ionian Sea’s Bay of Naxos is awe-inspiring. The beaches and …

Walking in a street in Taormina with pink flowers cascading down

Featured in Drew Barrymore’s DREW magazine

It was an honor for me to be featured in the Holiday 2021 issue of DREW, Drew Barrymore’s magazine. It’s always amazing to have my work published and be recognized for my work. I also love any opportunity to showcase my love of Italy! In this package edited by Jeralyn Gerba, the magazine round up perfect vacations for families, solo travel, couples etc and I’m discussing Taormina, Sicily and why it’s the perfect holiday destination for couples. Taormina is where Michele and I were engaged and it was wonderful to be able to share the photos from such a wonderful time in my life. Check out my full page spread and my photography actually opens the package as well! Here’s the cover. Look out for Drew Barrymore’s DREW magazine on your newsstands!

woman in front of purple Vespa in red check dress

The Perfect Summer Dress: Sicily Debut

I found the perfect summer dress! A google search lead me to it. It’s Simone Rocha x H&M. With so many people asking me about the dress — even before I posted our engagement photos — I decided to post about this summer dress because I’m kind of obsessed with it and the look. You’ll probably be seeing a lot of it this summer! I was looking up “red check summer dresses” and found it on Poshmark, then found my size New With Tags on Vestiaire. It was my first time using the app so I also got $25 with WelcomeUS code. Customer service was great — there were delays with USPS. I reached out to H&M about this collection but they never got back to me. The collection was kind of slept on probably due to the “pancake” and I hardly saw influencers promoting it. I loved when my friends Carolyn & Sophie had my Veronica Beard loafers and I love bringing good deals to you guys, I also love procrastinating because I have …

Fast Track: How to live out your dreams of the Italian countryside

I’m sure you’ve daydreamed about owning a home in the Italian countryside. I know I definitely have. Well, according to the New York Times, a town below Mt. Etna, Gangi is actually giving away homes! Really (some are being given away, some are going for as little as one euro). Located close to central Italy, in the Madonie mountains, Gangi has dealt with a seriously dwindling population in the last century, loosing over half of it’s population to emigration. These houses were left abandoned and the town government is trying to bolster the local economy, and attract new inhabitants that will love and want to preserve Gangi. The catch: these homes are hardcore fixer-uppers, sometimes gut jobs and you have only four years to do it. As someone that’s spent time in Southern Italy, let me tell ya, that’s a pretty big catch, especially if you’re a foreigner. However, in 2014, Gangi was voted the most beautiful village in Italy, Borgo Piú Bello d’Italia, so maybe it’s just about rolling up your sleeves and getting …

‘N’s Nomads: ELLE’s Beauty & Fitness Editor, Megan O’Neill

You know when a girl passes you on the street in Bushwick and you immediately think DOPE then do a major head turn? That’s Megan O’Neill; imagine the extent to which she blew my mind when I saw her in Amherst, Massachusetts. I couldn’t believe we had never met in New York. In a sea of popped collar polos and Patagonia fleeces, I had to know the girl in the leopard swing coat with perfectly undone hair. Recently made Beauty & Fitness editor at ELLE magazine and a veteran of Lucky, I can’t think of a better representative of the new wave of editors heralded by Eva Chen: Megan is incredibly stylish, funny and witty — oh, and an enviously tall stunner too! Her potty mouth humor got me through many an Amherst night and it’s always a pleasure bumping into her backstage during New York Fashion Week. Extremely articulate, Megan has a skill of painting pictures with her words that often has me trying products I never knew I needed and eagerly awaiting her next …