October in Sicily

October in Sicily means harvest festivals and sagras celebrating the abundance of the season. Each Sunday of this month in the town of Zafferana Etnea, pictured, on the east slope of Etna, they host the 40th edition of Ottobrata Zafferanese, a culture and food festival celebrating the typical products of the volcanic region. Each Sunday…

Mazara del Vallo

Piazza della Repubblica, pictured, is the heart of the city of Mazara del Vallo in southwestern Sicily. Mazara del Vallo is considered the most important fishing port in Italy. Founded by the Phoenicians as a trading post, it was significant during the Arab era, when it was the capital of Val di Mazara, one of…

Grand Grammichele

Inspired by the enthroned goddess from Grammichele in Siracusa’s Museo Orsi, and after having seen photos of the town’s hexagonal piazza online, I hoped to visit in order to see the grand plaza for myself. Well, in May, our host Carmelo Cafici from nearby Licodia Eubea, guided my cousin Giulia (pictured) and me there. Built…

Catania’s Elephant 

Two rivers meet under Catania’s Piazza del Duomo to feed the Fontana dell’Elefante, or the Elephant Fountain. Designed by G.B. Vaccarini in 1736, this focal point of the cathedral’s square possesses an ancient Roman-era statue of an elephant made from black lava stone holding an Egyptian obelisk that boasts hieroglyphics about the goddess Isis, and…

Ortigia Sound System

Going on now through 31 July in Ortigia (Where the Piazza del Duomo pictured is located.) is the 3rd annual Ortigia Sound System, a music, design, and culture festival. Contemporary bands and DJs take to the streets, boats, and pop-up concert venues to push boundaries of modern music and entertainment. Designers host workshops about building…

Stroll through Taormina

A view of Taormina’s main shopping street, Corso Umberto, from the Church of San Giuseppe on Piazza IX Aprile We’ll wake up here on Day 9 of this September’s Savoring Sicily tour. Contact me at AllisonScola@ExperienceSicily.com to learn about the special offer I have going on right now.

Caravaggio and Gelato

Italy is renowned for its public squares. And Ortigia, the island that was the center of life in ancient-Greek Siracusa, has one of the most beautiful piazzas you’ll love to relish. On Day 6 of Savoring Sicily (this September 22-October 4), after taking in the Caravaggio featuring Santa Lucia at one end and luxuriating in…

Bellini is Tops

Catania and Sicily are very proud of their “son,” the opera composer, Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) featured here in Catania’s center. Bellini was born into a family of musicians in Catania and left Sicily at 18 years old to study at the conservatory in Naples. He lived abroad for the rest of his virtuosic life, dying…