Taormina & the North East

In the north east of Sicily the vast volcanic Mount Etna forms the stunning backdrop of some of the island’s most beautiful towns and picturesque beaches, including the understandably popular resort of Taormina. Etna, which is the largest active volcano in Europe, erupts frequently and a tour up to the crater is a must for any tourist visiting the island.

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 agenllo pasquale, Easter lambs and Frittella, a seasonal dish made with peas, artichokes and fava beans in celebration of spring.

 

June to September

Greco Teatro, Taormina
The busy summer schedule at the Greek theatre in Taormina, with its extraordinary backdrop of Mount Etna, includes the annual, star-studded Taormina Film Festival, Opera’s including Don Giovanni, Carmen and The Barber of Serville as well as rock concerts. Recent artists include James Blunt and Simple Minds.
More details can be found on their website, TeatroGrecoTaormina.com.

 

July

Agra della Pepata di Cozze, Aci Castello
Quite simply the festival of peppered mussels.

Sagra dell'Olio, Furnari
Locals and visitors alike tuck into local produce including olives, olive oil, bruschette and wine while enjoying live music in this lively festival.

Sagra del Pesce, Giardini-Naxos 
Each weekend throughout July and August the Fish Festival takes place in the port, recreating the atmosphere of the small fishing village it once was, with folklore and music and delicious fresh fish dishes washed down with local wine.

 

July to December

Etnafest 
A colourful arts festival with a varied program of rock, blues, reggae, jazz and classical music as well as puppet shows at Le Ciminiere convention centre in Catania.

 

August

Sagra delle Melanzana a Milazzo
An annual aubergine festival held over two evenings with folk music and dancing and the chance to sample a wonderful variety of dishes based on one of Sicily’s favourite ingredients.

 

October

Pistachio Festival, Bronte
Held at the beginning of the month the town celebrates the pistachio, the ‘green gold of Sicily’. This key ingredient of local cuisine features in workshops, demonstrations and tastings of a vast range of traditional dishes from well-known favourites such as pasta with pesto to perhaps the less expected pistachio flavoured ice-cream and chocolate. There’s a lively atmosphere in the historic centre of the town with street artists, bands and art and crafts displays.

Ottobrata Zafferanese, Zafferana Etnea
This famous fair is held every Sunday throughout October promoting folk traditions, crafts and local produce from the Mount Etna region, in the historic centre of the village.

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