a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


The grand wedding in Sicily


The cheapest holidays are sometimes best
Claudia Roden Writer
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

When I was a single mother, early on, my two older children, Simon and Nadia, went off to Paris to a camp, where they were going to be in the same camp as relatives children in Paris. And I was just alone with Anna. And so, I looked for the cheapest holiday that we could do together. And I found Sicily, there was... within days when we decided, it was a quick holiday that remained, and it was in a place called Isola delle Femmine. The island of women. I thought, that sounds romantic or something. And so, when we arrived, it was like a tour, it was booked through a company. And we arrived at night, with a whole lot of group from England. And we saw that we were right next to a cement factory. The cement factory belonged to the people who built the hotel. And there was noise. And the hotel had just been built. And they had never yet had people staying. And so, I was the only one who spoke Italian. And the people, they are waiting for us, did not speak English. And so, the people immediately who came, the tourists, said, 'We have been tricked, we are not staying. We are going'. And so, there were furious telephone calls with other hotels and other things and other arrangements. And so, the people who owned the hotel said, 'Please, please, please, you stay. And... stay with us, and we'll take you around. And we'll make it a good holiday for you'. I don't know why, but maybe they thought they'd learn something about what English people want. So, we were just Anna and myself in this hotel, with this family. And this family, they specialised in weddings. They had a huge hall, and I was there when they cooked for a wedding. But also, they took us to the beach every day. They took us to places with their car, fetched us. And then we ate with them at their table, just with the family. So, it was, for me, the kind of thing that really, I loved to be part of. To have real life.

Claudia Roden (b. 1936) is an Egyptian-born British cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist of Sephardi/Mizrahi descent. She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food.

Listeners: Nelly Wolman

Claudia Roden talking to her granddaughter Nelly Wolman about her life in food.

Tags: Sicily, Italy

Duration: 3 minutes, 36 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023