The Bust Of Sant’Agata Of Sicily

Replicas of the bust of Sant’Agata appear all over Catania. The actual bust is made of precious metals and is encrusted with jewels, making it extremely heavy. During these days of the feast, February 3 to 5, Catania’s faithful engage in back-breaking activities to illustrate their devotion and honor their patroness, Sant’Agata. Through rituals, they…

Sicily’s Breast Shaped Pastry

When you see this pastry show up in every pasticceria in Sicily, you know February is upon us. Minna di Sant’Agata (or Minna di Sant’Aita in Sicilian), or Saint Agatha’s Breast, is made and eaten in honor of the Sant’Agata, Catania’s patroness. The breast-shaped pastry represents the virgin martyr who is the patron saint of…

Antique Pasta Shop in Sicily

I ate fresh cavatelli pasta made at the “pastaru” (Sicilian for pasta maker or pasta seller) during last year’s Presepe Vivente in Licodia Eubea. Le signore hosting this scene were working hard to feed us hungry guests as we walked through the recreation of their ancient village. You’ll learn how to make fresh cavatelli pasta…

The Old Fashioned Barber In Sicily

Locals acting out how things were done at the old fashioned barber shop during last year’s Presepe Vivente (live nativity scene) presented by the proloco (community board) of Licodia Eubea. The townspeople of Licodia Eubea turned the ancient, abandoned quarter of their village into a living diorama. It’s a fascinating combination of art, theater, and…

The Power Of The Pomegranate

Pomegranates (melograni in Italian) are in season. Scholars believe that the fruit was brought to Sicily by both the Phoenicians and the Greeks, not only for food, but also for religious reasons. Pomegranate seeds represent fertility, prosperity, abundance, and generosity. And because of the Persephone myth–when the maiden daughter of the goddess Demeter eats the…