Welcome to My Sicilian Love Affair where Oriana shares all the juicy details about her (not so secret) “love affair” with Sicily! From what to eat and where to visit, to how to dress the part and traditions to follow, here you’ll find all the things she loves about Sicily. What started as fond memories of spending my summers in Sicily, quickly developed into a “Love Affair” with a magical land. A land that has so much more to offer than just good food and the mafia, a land that has given her parents life and has now given her life, meaning. 

Both of her parents were born and raised in Sicily and immigrated to the US as teenagers in the 70’s. They met in Brooklyn, NY, got married and had  my Oriana and her 2 siblings. Growing up, her family would spend the summer in Sicily where their time was split between Castellammare Del Golfo (her mom’s town) and Porto Empedocle (her dad’s town). 

“I’ll never forget the sad, emptiness in my soul the first day of the school year, missing my family, the sounds, the smells, and the rhythm of every day life in Sicily”. But her parents always kept the traditions and values alive in their household.

They mostly spoke Sicilian to each other especially if they didn’t want Oriana to know what they were talking about, but little did they know it forced her to learn the language because she wanted to know what they were saying! Italian was Oriana’s first language but for her grandparents, it was their first and last. After almost 50 years in the US, nonna’s famous line is “me no speak English” and “hello” which also meant goodbye at times! 

Family is the most important thing in Oriana’s life and her grandparents are like her second set of parents. In fact if it weren’t for their age, she would forget the fact that there’s a generation in between! Their daily phone calls consist of “did you eat?” and “did you say your prayers?” because in nonna’s eyes, nothing else matters.

Any and all holidays are a must to be together whether it’s Christmas or a name day like San Giuseppe, Oriana always looks forward to big dinners (which is usually a battle of whose recipe is better moms or dads), nonna and nonno bringing one of their classic desserts like cassata or bianco mangiare, an old heirloom handed down or even just a $20 bill, but most importantly carrying on the traditions and making new memories to last a lifetime. Sicilian culture is the true meaning of “southern hospitality”.

Fast forward to her twenties when Oriana studied abroad in Florence, it was during that time that she realized her true passion for travel and exploring all that the world has to offer. She has been fortunate enough to vacation in Sicily every summer and each time, brings new experiences, new memories and strengthened bonds with family and friends that become family. She loved Sicily so much so that she planned her dream wedding in Taormina, Sicily in 2014 but little did she know at the time that she was actually planting the seeds for so many beautiful relationships to grow. During the time she was married, she would spend at least 2 weeks in Sicily splitting her time between Castellammare Del Golfo with her grandparents and Taormina to visit all of their new friends that had become family. It was also during that time that she began to help plan trips to Sicily for numerous friends and family every summer. Until she realized she needed a reference point so she didn’t  have to keep repeating herself and that’s how MySicilianLoveAffair was born!

Post divorce and post pandemic, her “love affair” with Sicily has been her saving grace, her therapy, her inspiration and her motivation to share all of the things she loves so much about Sicily with her followers. From the simple basics of day-to-day life with her grandparents to the most magical undisclosed locations, most locals don’t even know about, her goal is to “bridge the gap between Sicily and NYC”.

“In a nut shell this is how “My Sicilian Love Affair” started, with the love of my family, my passion for fashion and travel and a mission to bring the best that Sicily has to offer at your fingertips. In my late 20's I decided to start my moniker jewelry line "Oriana Lamarca Designs" and used my travel experiences to design my signature collections based upon the colors and cultures of different destinations I had traveled to. Now, My Sicilian Love Affair is the "heartbeat" of everything I do and create! From my summers spent in Castellammare Del Golfo, Sicily since I was an infant and my travels to different destinations around the world, the best memories have been created around my favorite saying, “Mangia bene, Ridi Speso, Ama Molto” (Eat Well, Laugh Often, Love A lot)”.

So make yourself an espresso, relax and enjoy!