52 Reasons to Love Sicily | Storybook Mountain Towns

52 Reasons to Love Sicily #47. Storybook Mountain Towns. Throughout Sicily exist charming mountain-top villages like this one pictured, Licodia Eubea. Often sporting timeless architectural elements and supporting populations of less than 3000 people, such places take on a special ambience, one where it seems everybody knows your name. As you stroll down the main…

Happy Mother’s Day! 52 Reasons to Love Sicily | The Mother Goddess’ Presence is Everywhere

Happy Mother’s Day! 52 Reasons to Love Sicily #24. The Mother Goddess’ Presence is Everywhere Demeter, the goddess of the grain, female fertilization, and the harvest, who is the mother of Persephone, represents the great matriarch in ancient Greek mythology. Her power to cultivate the bounties on the Earth’s surface for us are illustrated significantly…

52 Reasons to Love Sicily | Catania, Sicily’s Second City

52 Reasons to Love Sicily #13. Sicily’s second city Catania recalls Roma, while holding fast to its local character. Its historic downtown boasts broad avenues that are lined with baroque palazzi and that lead to sweeping views of the volcano, Etna. The center not only supports its beautiful cathedral dedicated to Sant’Agata and Liotru, the…

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…

Devoted Cittadini! Cittadini!

Even though this year’s feast for Sant’Agata will not be on the streets because of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is in the hearts of devotees in Catania. If you close your eyes, in your mind’s eye you can hear the thousands in their call and response: “Semu tutti devoti tutti? Cittadini, Cittadini!” “Certo! Certo!” (“Are we…

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…