Holy Week Preview

This week leading up to Easter Sunday is Holy Week or “La settimana santa.” In Sicily, many, many towns celebrate various sacred rites each day of the week, the height of which are practiced on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Such practices date back centuries and are rooted in deep tradition. For example, in Enna…

Here Comes the Cassata

There is much debate about the origins of cassata cake, but one thing is clear: it is as elaborate as the Baroque architecture one finds throughout Sicily–and it is as decadent. So much so, that until the mid-20th century, cassata was only eaten by the masses on Easter Sunday. Cassata is made up of sponge…

A “Pietà” in Palermo

The baroque Chiesa di Sant’Anna la Misericordia (Church of St. Anne the Merciful) in Palermo was consecrated in 1639. Before Santa Rosalia became Palermo’s patron saint, Saint Anne was one of the four co-patrons of the city. The facade of church, shown here, has been restored several times due to damage by earthquakes over the…