Browsing CategoryHistory & culture

SICILIAN-FLAG

Take a holiday in Sicily and you quickly realise that the island’s history stretches far back before the Greeks and Romans to a tangled web of myths and legends which are intrinsically linked to the island’s culture and geography. The history of Sicily has it that its distinctive triangular shape, symbolised by the Trinacria, was formed by three nymphs who, having gathered the best things from all around the world – earth, fruit, stones – flung them into the clear blue sea which lit up like a rainbow and subsequently gave rise to the three peaks from which the island…

food in sicily

No celebration in Sicily, religious or otherwise, is without its special food and this is particularly the case at Easter. Despite the saying ‘Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi’ (‘Christmas with family, Easter with whoever you want’), Easter is traditionally a time to be with family and friends – a fabulous gastronomic experience that is shaped, as with all the best Sicilian celebrations, by the many myths and traditions embedded in the island’s culture. Lunch on Easter Sunday is a long lingering affair and the best advice is to go hungry! Lamb, with Sicilian Easter bread, is on…

Infiorata di Noto

With its broad mix of invaders and fascinating history, it is not surprising that Sicily’s cultural calendar is peppered with colourful events and celebrations. From re-enactments of Norman conquests to the decoration of streets with floral carpets, the Mediterranean’s largest island provides its visitors with plenty of spectacular events throughout the year.   Palio dei Normanni at Piazza Armerina The otherwise sleepy town of Piazza Armerina springs into action between 12-14 August (weather is usually good) each year with the medieval pageant of the Palio dei Normanni. Re-enacting the key historical moment of the conquest of Sicily in 1061 by…

catania-sicily

Festivals are all part of the fun of a villa holiday in Sicily and regardless of where and when you visit, there is a good chance of stumbling on local celebrations. With every town claiming a patron saint, religious festivals can be very spectacular affairs involving processions, fireworks and, not surprisingly, plenty of delicious food. In addition, many of the small towns and villages hold local sagre, dedicated to celebrating their most famous agricultural produce. These are just a few to whet your appetite.   Cannolo Festival in Piana degli Albanesi If you are staying in a holiday villa near…

Festa di Santa Rosalia, Palermo (Sicily)

Easter is probably the most exciting time to holiday in Sicily in terms of religious festivals, but the Sicilian calendar is also punctuated by celebratory events throughout the year, held to commemorate and pay tribute to the patron saints of individual towns and villages.  These three festivals will give you a taste of celebrating, Sicilian style.   Festa di Sant’Agata, Catania (Italy) The Festa di Sant’Agata leads the way when it comes to religious devotion in Sicily. Attracting up to a million people over a three-day period, the first of two annual festivals takes place between 3-5 February, commemorating the…

Sicilian-carnival

If you thought you had to wait till summer for a villa holiday in Sicily, think again. Carnival celebrations mean party time right across the island and although traditions vary slightly from one town to another, you’ll find a party-going atmosphere wherever you go. Unsurprisingly (this is Sicily!), traditional food has a leading role with some serious eating taking place before Lent fasting. Think macaroni, cavateddi (pasta) with meat sauce and pork rind, and chiacchere, strips of sweet pastry dough fried and sprinkled with sugar. These are some of the top carnivals in February, so snap up a holiday home…

VILLAS-IN-SICILY-WITH-SEAVIEW

Dear holidaymaker, The days are well and truly hotting up here in Sicily: air temperatures are rising daily and sea temperatures are creeping up to the balmy mid-20’s. Meanwhile, market stalls are packed with seasonal summer fruits and vegetables such as glistening red cherries, deep purple glossy aubergines and the first of the crop of velvety apricots. To celebrate the start of summer, we’re offering some great deals on a selection of villas, including several that have been recently added to our collection. Take a look at our selection below or visit the special offers section on our website for…

Holiday in Sicily

A May or June holiday in Sicily brings with it warm sunshine, a series of charming food and wine sagre in the smaller villages and several impressive events and festivals.   Flower festival in Noto (12-15 May) While masses of wild flowers blanket the Madonie and Nebrodi mountains in the north of the island, the baroque town of Noto in Sicily’s south east presents a very different floral display. During the colourful Infiorata di Noto flower festival (12-15 May), the palazzo-lined Corrado Nicolaci, is transformed into a flowered carpet of petal-filled mosaic-style pictures.   Once you have admired the display and…

Carneval-in-sicily-acireale

While the carnivals of Venice and Viareggio may be more famous, Sicily’s carnivals can be equally spectacular and are more likely to be accompanied by better weather. Our top carnivals are in Acireale, Sciacca, and, just outside Palermo, at Termini Imerese and Mezzojuso.  Visit during the February celebrations and combine your stay in Sicily with visiting some of the island’s top attractions, minus the crowds and the heat of the summer sun.   Acireale carnival: With concerts, parades through the town’s baroque historic centre and processions of allegorical and floral floats, Acireale is one of Sicily’s most colourful and impressive…

Villa Arte Mare Blu

Christmas in Sicily is a festive occasion, packed full of traditions and customs that make it a very special time. Cool temperatures means that the focus shifts away from the beach and swimming and into the heart of the local village or town where locals keep the Christmas spirit alive and kicking.   Christmas Presepi Many homes and the vast majority of churches in Sicily display a presepe (nativity scene). In some cases, these are ‘Presepi viventi’ – living nativity scenes where locals dress up and re-enact the Nativity between Christmas Day and Epiphany with the privilege of representing baby…