Welcome to the Cinquecento Project.

This blog started as an online journal to connect me to my friends and family in the United States as I established myself at the U.S. Naval Air Station Sigonella, located in southeastern Sicily.

During my first six months in Sicilia, I focused on five daily moments of happiness. There is a natural surge of adrenaline and energy associated with moving to a new, beautiful location. This surge was followed by an energy suck as I missed the familiar aspects of my life in Seattle, and the familiar rhythms of life in the U.S. For those six months or so, I recorded my daily “cinquecento” – the 5 best things that happened that day and 100 words of introspection. “Cinquecento” is Italian for “500.” I broke it down into the “5” and “100” components for this project. There is also an infamous Italian car, made by Fiat, the Cinquecento, and it is so adorable that it makes me smile.

After the first six months, I switched to blogging about things that interest me – which often included aspects of living abroad, but also included some of my passions, like running! As I am nearing the unofficial halfway point of my Italian journey, I am turning back to the Italian part of the experience and will focus on my Italian life.

For anyone who wants to read about being attached to Sigonella, or living as a military spouse abroad, or similar topics, check out my Sigonella Directory post, where I provide an index to my posts that offer the most insight to those aspects of my blogs.

Welcome to the CinquecentoProject! I hope you get a laugh, or find some inspiration from my journey.

Ciao ciao,

Professional Jill
Jill Headshot

*Photo credit to Ed Lucio 2013

Italian Relaxed Jill

*Cheesy self-portrait during hike on Mt. Etna, November 2012

Gorgeous Mt. Etna

Hi_Res Etna 03212013_WillyW

*Photo credit to Willy Williams, local school administrator

6 responses to “About

  1. KLBN

    Hi Jill! miss ya on CK … anyway, I’m hosting a casual dinner party with a Sicilian menu. Before I just jump in, do you have any suggestions for must-have dishes? I can find recipes (unless you wanna send a favorite), just would love to know what would likely be served at a dinner party IN Sicily. … Happy trails, Kate

    • Kate!

      Hope you get this in time – in Sicily, there would be antipasto first (cured meats, sliced cheeses, olives, pickled mushrooms, spinach frittata (similar), parmigiana (eggplant based), and other small, bite-sized specialties; then pasta (Pasta a la Norma is one of my favorites, with ricotta salata); then a meat or fish with a simple green salad with oil, sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Octopus salad is another yummy possibility. Let me know how the dinner goes…and I miss CK, too! I’ll be back probably around July.

  2. kate

    Dinner update: it was good! but we had to work around a bunch of food allergies that various guests let us know about… we ended up making lamb, spring veg (pea vines and carrots), and a chickpea thing that was meant to be like socca (as in the Marseilles street food) but was actually more like a fritata. It was okay, all in all. The best thing was the dessert: light and crispy chocolate meringue cookies. As for the menu you suggested – yum! I think the antipasto course sounds especially wonderful.

    • Sounds great! mmm – pea vines. We just had a lovely chickpea dish – regional of course, and it was just mire poix and add chickpeas simmered for 40-60 minutes, then finish with a splash of fresh olive oil (local and extra virgin) and minced parsley. Glad your party turned out well! I’d take one of the chocolate meringue cookies 🙂

  3. Oliver KIefer

    Love the blog! We’re PCSing to Sig soon and really enjoyed getting a glimpse into our new home through your posts. Thanks so much for your insights (and Go Pack Go from a couple of fellow Badgers).

    • This is great! So glad to know my beloved work can bring some utility to your experience. Some things change and of course some things will never change on Sicily. Squeeze out the best you can while there – seriously, squeeze… lemons, olives, grapes, culture, people, squeeze is the verb for it!

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