Catania, dark and atmospheric by night, became my new home as of September 2011.  I left a self pitying, unemployed but endlessly wonderful Ireland behind for a new challenge in what was for me, the hitherto unknown world of Sicily.

Villa Bellini Public Park CataniaVilla Bellini, also called Giardino Bellini, is the beautiful centrepiece of Catania.  Developed in honour of Vincenzo Bellini who was born in Catania but moved away and became a famous composer.
It is quite large and for the most part well maintained.  On top of the hill is a decorative gazebo, which makes a pleasant place to relax and to gaze at a fabulous view of Mount Etna.  Many sit in the park in shaded spots under the trees to wait out the hottest part of the day.

Below is the ceiling of the Basilica della Collegiata which is located on via Etnea.

Fresco on the ceiling of Basilica della Collegiata

The exterior is also attractive to the eye.

Basilica della Collegiata Viewed From Via Etnea

Walking away from La Collegiata towards the main square of the city, Piazza Duomo, one will see the iconic monument of Catania, La Fontana dell’Elefante, the fountain of the elephant.

The Fountain in Piazza Duomo, Catania

Behind the fountain is the comune building which is the county council or government body which controls the administration of the city.  When the city’s residents are angry due to lack of work or high bin charges the lament that the elephant is dangerously thin because the comune have been eating away at him.

Back to the Gaff

Scandalous Narratives of Contemporary Ireland

Dublin, Ireland, Irish writing, short stories

Back to the Gaff is a book by new author John P Brady, which describes the excessive and outrageous nature of Irish night life. Meet an array of eccentric individuals who populate the bars of Dublin, living lives of decadence and abandon. Their frolics inevitably lead to a trip ‘back to the gaff,’ which in Dublin-speak means gravitating towards someone’s place of residence where the depravity continues.

Ebook and Paperback available: 




John P. Brady is an Irish writer, Financial Trader and occasional journalist.  He divides his time between Ireland and Italy.  His interests include travel writing, social comment and eccentric debauchery. His first book, Back to the Gaff, described as "Trainspotting meets Dubliners" is available. Buy the ebook

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