Enjoy an action-packed calendar of lively local events in Sicily’s towns and cities throughout October when blazing blue skies and warm autumn sunshine provide a backdrop to vibrant and colourful festivities around the island. During this time, everything from Sicily’s bountiful produce to its rich cultural heritage is on show, making it a wonderful opportunity to get behind the scenes and discover a more authentic side to the island.
This year marks the 13th anniversary of the Le Vie dei Tesori festival. The annual event started in Palermo, with the aim of opening up the city’s rich heritage to the wider public. This year, palaces, villas, secret gardens, catacombs and Jewish baths are just some of the locations that will open its doors, as part of a packed calendar featuring guided walks, a Kids’ Festival and unique experiences involving sailing, paragliding and riding. The Festival runs from 4 October to 3 November 2019 in Palermo and Catania, and from 4-20 October in Modica, Ragusa and Scicli. Book a villa in the south east of Sicily as your base and enjoy visits to the Fattojo Bonajuto, home to the production of the world-renowned Bonajuto chocolate in Modica; the Palazzo Municipale in Scicli, better-known as the Commissioner’s Office in the Montalbano TV series; and night-time visits to several of Ragusa’s most stunning bell towers.
Ragusa is also the location for the lively Ibla Buskers festival (10-13 October 2019) a 3-day celebration of street performance, busking and entertainment. Watch the streets of Ragusa Ibla come to life as acrobats, jugglers, tightrope walkers and magicians from all over the world perform tricks against the atmospheric backdrop of baroque architecture in the town’s historic centre. Stay in the heart of the action at Piazza Duomo 36, a spacious apartment with balconies overlooking Ragusa Ibla’s main piazza. On the other side of the island, Palermo hosts its own Buskers Festival, Ballarò (18-20 October 2019), in the city’s iconic historic marketplace.
You won’t be surprised to learn that there’s also plenty going on in October on the food front, where mushrooms, pistachios, honey, chestnuts and grapes take centre stage. At Bronte, the Sagra del Pistacchio (4-6 October 2019) invites visitors to experience its world-renowned pistachios, in cakes, ice-cream and pasta. At nearby Zafferana Etnea, the Ottobrata Zafferanese is the umbrella name for the Sunday festivals that run through October, each dedicated to a traditional autumnal speciality originating from Mount Etna. Stay at Terrazza sul Mare, on the coast near Acireale, for easy access to the town and the slopes of Mount Etna.
Meanwhile, in the town of Castelbuono in the Madonie Mountains, it’s Funghi Fest from 18-20 October. Enjoy cookery demonstrations, live music, guided tours and over 50 stands dedicated to gastronomic and artisan produce. Choose from a selection of villas close to Cefalù, including Villa Carlotta, a 3-bedroom beachfront villa with pool and rooftop jacuzzi.