5 reasons to book a Sicily holiday in springtime

Holiday in Sicily during the months of April, May and June and plunge into a world of scented floral blooms, blossoming trees and the fresh flavours of springtime. Visit over the next couple of months, before the fierce summer heat takes hold, and you’ll find local dishes featuring the delicate flavours of artichokes, spring peas, and wild fennel and asparagus, and a heavenly backdrop of hillsides and mountain slopes carpeted with colourful spring flowers. Quite simply, spring is one of the loveliest times to holiday in Sicily. Here are just a few of the reasons why.

Flower carpet in Noto

You certainly don’t need a reason to visit the stunning baroque town of Noto – the honey-coloured palazzi and churches, and balcony-lined streets are quite enough of an attraction – but there’s an added bonus over the weekend of 13-15 May 2022 in the form of the town’s dazzling flower festival, the Infiorata di Noto.

Themed this year on the 20th anniversary of UNESCO adding the 8 towns of the Val di Noto to its World Heritage List, the 43rd Infiorata di Noto adds a splash of colour to the mellow-hued town. Throughout the weekend, you’ll get the chance to gaze at the annual traditional floral display which carpets the Via Corrado Nicolaci with an intricate mosaic design made up of around 400,000 flower petals. Stay on the coast at Villa Lo Scoglio, a seafront villa with easy access to Noto and Syracuse.

Spring flowers and the Gangi flower festival

You’ll find the Sicilian countryside awash with spring flowers in May and June. From your base at Casa Turchina, make tracks for the Madonie or Nebrodi mountains for glimpses of red roadside poppies, marigold, mimosa, wild iris and flashes of yellow broom. You’ll also get snatches of creamy wild snapdragon creeping over crumbling walls and mini-orchids peeping through the grass.

Meanwhile, the charming Madonie village of Gangi hosts another dazzling flower festival, La Via degli Odori. Enjoying wandering through the historic centre where flowers and aromatic and medicinal herbs line the street and stalls sell artisanal cheeses and other local produce.

Casa Turchina
Casa Turchina

Sagra della Ricotta

The spring months present ample opportunities to sample some of Sicily’s loveliest local produce. There’s nothing quite like the delicate flavour of freshly-made ricotta so a ricotta-themed festival is as good a place as any for your first tasting! The Sagra della Ricotta in Vizzini (between Caltagirone and Syracuse) is one of Sicily’s oldest food festivals, boasting all types of ricotta products, including, of course, Sicily’s iconic ricotta-packed cannoli. Choose from a selection of villas in and around Syracuse.

Cannoli & Friends

Given the iconic status of cannoli in Sicily, the idea of there not being a festival dedicated to the mouth-watering delicacy is simply unthinkable! Selling up to 50,000 cannoli over a 3-day period, the Cannoli & Friends festival takes place each May in the mountain town of Piana degli Albanesi, to the south of Palermo. You’ll still find other sweet treats too, including cassata, but the cannoli are definitely the star attraction. Alternatively, in the east of the island, the 3-day ‘Sagra del Cannolo’ in Aci Bonaccorsi (near Catania) provides plenty more cannolo-sampling opportunities, with highlights including the preparation of the biggest cannolo in the world!

Traditional Sicilian cannoli
Traditional Sicilian cannoli

Artichoke festival

Stay at Glicine Cottage, a 2-bedroom cottage set amidst exquisite gardens on the Villa Cecilia Trabia estate, and you’ll find yourself conveniently placed for cannoli guzzling in Piana degli Albanesi, but also in prime position for the artichoke festival in the village of Cerda. Set in the Palermo province, the village is best known for its ‘carciofi’ and naturally, there’s a spring festival which celebrates everything artichoke-themed. The Sagra del Carciofo brings the town of Cerda alive with tastings of artichoke recipes, an outdoor market, and music and dance performances.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the island, the small Catanese village of Ramacca celebrates the ‘Violetto Ramacchese’, the violet artichoke which has been harvested around Ramacca for centuries. Dip into a range of tasty dishes accompanied by festivities that include concerts and entertaining events. The festival takes place from 22-25 April in the historical centre of Ramacca.

Detail of the large pool at Glicine cottage | Villa Cecilia Trabia
Detail of the large pool at Glicine cottage | Villa Cecilia Trabia

Need more spring holiday inspiration? See our collection of rural villas and holiday homes  in Sicily