Festivals & Events

With literally hundreds of festivals and events held across Sicily throughout the year, here is a selection of a few of our favourites, although we suggest you also keep your eyes open for posters or ask the local tourist office for more information on these and other events.

April

Easter

Easter in Sicily is big with every city, town and village celebrating with processions weaving their way through the streets, culminating at the local church or cathedral. Many pagan traditions celebrating spring are also incorporated into these religious events. Seasonal dishes and delicacies enjoyed include cassata (a sponge cake with sweetened ricotta cream, marzipan and candied fruits and pumpkin), marzipan confectionaries shaped in to fruits and agnello pasquale, Easter lambs and Frittella, a seasonal dish made with peas, artichokes and fava beans in celebration of spring.

Misteri di Trapani
The “Mysteries” are 20 statues representing the Passion and Death of Christ. At 2pm, each Good Friday, they are taken in procession from the Church of Anime Sante del Purgatorio in Trapani. Overnight festivities finally lead back to the church at 2pm the following day.

 

May

Sagra delle Teste di Turco, Modica, Ragusa
A celebration of the liberation of Sicily in 1091, following the Norman victory over the Arabs, with the town’s traditional cake, known as Turks’ Head, and a glass or two of local wine.

 

Mid May to late June

Teatro Greco, Syracuse
One of Sicily’s most prestigious cultural events each spring is the Greek Theatre Festival. At sunset, in the evocative setting of this ancient amphitheatre, a classical Greek comedy or tragedy is performed, transporting audiences thousands of years back in time.
For further details visit their website, IndaFondazione.org.

 

June

Sagra delle Fave di San Pietro, Isnello
During the Feast of the Bean of St. Peter, on 29th June, fava beans are cooked up together with onions and potatoes, washed down with plenty of local wine.

 

July

Festa di San Calogero , Agrigento
A week long festival celebrating Saint Calògero who saved Agrigento from the plague.

Festa di Santa Rosalia, Palermo
Every 14th July the city celebrates its patron Saint, who is said to have saved the citizens of Palermo from the plague in 1624, hundreds of years after her death.

August

Festa di San Salvatore, Cefalù
A celebration of Cefalù's patron saint with processions, great food and the odd glass of wine, held over a few days each August, swelling the number of Cefalù’s summer visitors even more, especially on the last day of the festival.

Palio Norman, Piazza Armerina
For four days in August the town holds a commemoration of the Norman Conquest with processions and equestrian events plus music and dance, arts and crafts and of course plenty of tasty, local food.

La Sagra del Tortone, Sperlinga
An evening of historical re-enactments, singing, dancing and fireworks is followed the next day with a mediaeval procession leading up to the castle where tortone, a traditional local cake, is given out to all those present.

Festa di San Francesco, Marzamemi

Towards the end of August there is a procession in Marzamemi in honour of their saint. The San Francesco (St Francis) statue is carried from the church in the main square to the harbour and taken by boat around the harbour to collect locals and boats to follow the procession. The streets are lined with people and there are stalls selling candy floss and pistachio brittle. After the procession there is a lot of eating, drinking and socialising in the restaurants and bars until the early hours.

 

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