Anyone who has holidayed in Italy in mid-August will know that 15 August is Ferragosto, the national Bank Holiday which sees most of the country shutting up shop and heading for the beach. Essentially marking Assumption Day, the national holiday is a religious one, but it also marks the beginning of Italy’s holiday period.
Ferragosto celebrations take place across the country, ranging from local village-based events to huge crowd-pulling occasions such as Siena’s Palio. In Sicily, most activities are focused around the beach, with some towns and villages also organising festivals, processions and fireworks.
Not surprisingly, the celebrations spill out across the week. In Giarratana, for example, in south east Sicily, the Sagra della Cipolla on 14 August celebrates the town’s famous locally-grown onion while in Piazza Armerina, the spectacular 3-day Palio dei Normanni event is staged from 12-14 August.
If you like the idea of experiencing a traditional Sicilian holiday this August, we still have villas free in these towns:
TAORMINA: Villa Eloi is a stunning 4-bedroom contemporary villa, with a sea-view pool, close to the chic resort of Taormina. Visit Mount Etna, with a stop off at one of the many wineries and in the evenings, wander along the main ‘corso’ in Taormina for some people-watching and window-shopping.
MESSINA: Enjoy magnificent views over the spectacular countryside from Villa Alma, a modern 4-bedroom villa with pool in north east Sicily. Choose from a selection of pretty beaches along the 10km stretch of gorgeous coastline or explore the medieval hilltop villages in the Nebrodi mountains. Boat trips to the volcanic Aeolian Islands are available from nearby Milazzo.
PALERMO: Check in to Casa Turi and you probably won’t want to set foot outside the door! A fabulous pool, superb outdoor kitchen and cool outdoor terraces and verandas ensure a week of total relaxation. When you do want to explore, you’re perfectly placed for day trips to Palermo, Monreale and the seaside resort of Cefalù.
NEBRODI: Our newest villa, Casa Sant’Anna, looks set to be snapped up quickly so don’t hang around. With an infinity pool with sea views, the 2-bedroom villa is ideal for families and very well-located for exploring the island’s north coast.