“Viva Palermo e Viva Santa Rosalia!”


The main event of the Feast of Santa Rosalia is “il festino” on July 14. Il festino is a mix of folklore, religion, street food, socializing, and modern events such as art exhibitions and concerts. The city of Palermo swings into holiday mode, and after lunch, the Center’s streets are designated for foot traffic only. Palermitani flood the piazze and streets to socialize and celebrate “La Santuzza.” The big moment of the evening is a procession featuring a boat-shaped float outfitted with a statue of Santa Rosalia. Different from many statue-focused processions in Italy, Palermo’s statue is annually commissioned and created in the vision of a different artist each year. As is the practice, the triumphal car, known as il carro, starts its route at the Cathedral and works its way down Corso Vittorio Emanuele towards Porto Felice at la Cala, the city’s ancient port. The main moment along the way is a stop at Quattro Canti, the corner of Corso Vittorio Emanuale and Maqueda, the center of Palermo’s for four historic quarters (pictured). Here, at the intersection that is flanked by fountains with statues of women representing winter, spring, summer, and fall, four famous Spanish kings of Sicily, and the four previous patron saints of the city, hundreds of people gather in anticipation of il carro’s arrival. When it does, the citizens cheer, “Viva Palermo e viva Santa Rosalia!”

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful! Absolutely stunning! Thanks for the description. It looks like there’s an orchestra on the float with the statue.

    1. There is Dana!

  2. I disappeared this week into work on a long, long article – paid, not my stuff! I’m catching up now! Phew! Glad to be back in Sicily. <3

    1. You are so funny! So glad that you were writing, versus the alternative! Molti baci (many kisses!)

      1. Yes, much better than a hospital stay! Molti baci – to you!

        Keep wanting to tell that there is a barrio (one of the largest) in Buenos Aires called Palermo. I stayed a month in an apt. there the last time I went, 2007. The famous polo grounds are there and a lot of very glamorous polo players hang out in Palermo. BA is full of Italians! Great pizza, gelato, and all kinds of wonderful Italian restaurants. Mmmmm, limoncello 🙂

      2. Wow! I knew there were many Italians, but I didn’t know about Palermo! That is very cool. Thank you for telling me. How awesome that you were there for a month!

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