Patron Saint George

I was so excited about Cerda’s artichokes yesterday, I failed to recognize Saint George’s feast day, which was 23 April. But, don’t despair! All week in Modica, where he is the patron of the town, there are events leading up to the annual procession and celebration, which will be on Sunday, April 29. Here, you’ll…

Sicily’s Modican Chocolate

You may be aware that chocolate, or at least cocoa, came from the Aztecs, a great civilization that for centuries before the end of 15th century, dominated what is modern-day Mexico. When the Spanish colonized Latin America, they brought the cocoa bean and an ancient form of chocolate (called Xocoatl, a drink) back to Europe….

The Feast of Saint George

This image of Saint George is from my father’s toy Sicilian cart from the 1950s. The hand-painted miniature is a prized family possession. You’ll see Saint George on many carts, especially the back support, because he protects the cart drivers and their horses. This weekend in the town of Piana degli Albanesi in Palermo province,…

Uphill in Modica

Street, Modica Now, imagine a group of men carrying a very heavy statue of Saint George slaying a dragon up this hill, galloping. That’s what’s happening today in author and poet Salvatore Quasimodo’s (1901-1968) hometown for la Festa di San Giorgio.

Galloping through Modica

The Sangiuggiari, or devotees of Saint George in Modica, will process the statue of San Giorgio slaying a dragon through the town’s streets on Sunday, May 24. Confetti and fireworks annually mark the start of a winding parade during which faithful men carry the heavy statue on their shoulders–sometimes galloping to simulate the horse on…