Italian Christmas bright and cold

BELLISSIMO: Snow in Messina's Piazza Duomo.
BELLISSIMO: Snow in Messina's Piazza Duomo.

South Canterbury teenagers are a globe-trotting lot and Attitude is following some of them while they discover many wonderful parts of the world. This week, we catch up with Mackenzie College student Abby Anderson, who is in Sicily, Italy, on an AFS exchange.

With Christmas only a week away Italy is like a new place.

Christmas lights are up in the streets, Christmas trees are in all the shops and most noticeably, not that I imagined it could have, traffic has gotten worse. It is now without a doubt faster to walk anywhere you want to go than it is to drive. As long as you're careful to watch out for cars, since pedestrian crossings don't seem to be noticed here.

I have helped to fully decorate the house and I have already had a piece of Christmas, eating Pandoro - a cake that comes in plain or fruit flavour. It is sold in big boxes everywhere and we have three sitting beside our Christmas tree.

Sicily has been, surprisingly, more cold than I expected. Temperatures are averaging around 10 degrees most days and it has been raining on and off nearly every day. Messina even got a very small amount of snow which never ever happens here as I am by the sea.

Though I would hardly have called it snow.

One of the great things, though, was my family were able to go with another family ice skating.

As this was my sister's first time, it was quite an experience and very funny to watch until my sister took me down with her.

As much as I am loving this Christmas atmosphere I can't wait for it to warm up!

The Timaru Herald