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Pazienza: A Uniquely Sicilian Mantra

Pazienza is a common Sicilian mantra which translates directly to “patience” in English, but in actuality confers a deeper meaning. The phrase can refer to one’s “the ability to endure hardship”, or can be used to say “bear with me” instead of the more common expression “Aspetta un po ”.

Life in Sicily produces many moments that Pazienza. Sometimes you will find yourself being crammed into a hot, smoky bus that is already completely full of passengers. Other times, you will wait to be seated at the restaurant with the best arancini in town.

This saying displays a healthy cynicism of the pretentious aspects of life over which most people fret, and uncovers a philosophy integral to the Sicilian way of life: One should learn to endure hardships that arise from both dramatic tragedy, and from the mundane moments so prevalent in modern life.

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