Buona Festa! International Women’s Day

Mimosa, the flower and tree pictured, is the symbol of International Women’s Day or la Festa della Donna in Italy. It is currently blooming in warmer climates of the Italian peninsula. International Women’s Day is celebrated throughout the world. It recognizes the contributions of women to society, originating in the labor and suffrage movements of…

Topsy-turvy Carnevale In Acireale, Sicily

Normally, this weekend would be the height of Carnevale in Acireale, Sicily. Carnevale or Carnival is the period leading up to Ash Wednesday and Lent. In pre-Christian times, this outdoor, spring festival, which took place before the arduous planting season, turned everything topsy-turvy: Masters would become the servents and servents the masters. Revelers would hide…

W Sant’Agata!

Viva Sant’Agata! Word spread throughout Sicily about the brutality that Agatha endured and how she stood strong in her Christian faith through it all (as recounted in yesterdays’ post). Over time, her cult grew. That brings us to contemporary Catanian’s devotion to the virgin martyr that reaches a fever pitch during the annual feast from…

Live Nativity Scenes In Sicily

Many towns in Sicily annually create elaborate live nativity scenes like this one I saw in 2019 in Custonaci (Trapani Province). These dioramas featuring townspeople acting out iconic moments and everyday activities from past times create a sense of wonder. Presepe Vivente are a reason to visit Sicily during Christmas. (In the future, when it’s…