Topsy-turvy Carnevale in Sicily

Today is the final day of Carnevale! My cousin Francesca was in Sciacca this past weekend and took this photo. Sciacca boasts one of the leading celebrations in Sicily and Italy. Locals will tell you it’s been presented for centuries. Carnevale is the last hurrah before the planting season and before Lent, when many traditionally…

Carnevale, Valentine’s Day, Mythology, and Love in Sicily

Love is in the air! Today is Martedì Grasso–Fat Tuesday–the final day of Carnevale! It’s also the day before St. Valentine’s Day… mmm… considering the ancient practices of Carnevale, could it be related to how we interpret Valentine’s Day today? I’m not really sure, but I’ll venture to guess there is a relationship between the…

Sicily’s Almond Nougat

Freshly made almond nougat is prevalent at street festivals like Carnevale in Acireale, Sicily. The craftsmen who make the sugar and almond sweet, called cubaita in many parts of Sicily, put on a show right in front of your eyes, mixing and forming the boiling-hot, teeth-cracking bars in seconds as it quickly cools on the…

Carnival in Sicily

Teams of townspeople spend months planning and creating fantastic floats to showcase during Carnevale in Acireale. This animated Zeus from 2017 was a awe-inspiring work of art, especially at night, when the papier mâchè character was lit, as pictured, and he threatened to throw his flashing thunderbolts. During the days and evenings of Carnevale, the…

The Most Beautiful Carnevale in Sicily

As we approach Ash Wednesday next week, throughout Sicily revelers are celebrating Carnevale. Acireale, where I was for last year’s party, is the place to be! Over the next few days, tens of thousands of people will process through the town’s streets wearing costumes while throwing confetti, eating Sicilian-style almond nougat and other sweets, making…

Step Outside of Yourself

Happy Halloween! Pictured is one of the eye catching floats from the 2017 Carnevale in Acireale, Sicily. Although Halloween, as we Americans celebrate it, is gaining some popularity in Sicily, Carnevale (the days leading up to Lent) is the time when they dress in costumes and create mischief. No matter when you put on a…