Live Nativity Scenes In Sicily

Many towns in Sicily annually create elaborate live nativity scenes like this one I saw in 2019 in Custonaci (Trapani Province). These dioramas featuring townspeople acting out iconic moments and everyday activities from past times create a sense of wonder. Presepe Vivente are a reason to visit Sicily during Christmas. (In the future, when it’s…

Leave The Past In The Fire

Release today what you don’t want to bring into the new year! There isn’t a long history of celebrating New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day in Sicily. Only over the past century has it become a milestone holiday. Therefore, modern Sicilians celebrate New Year’s Italian-style–eating sausage (cotechino), grapes, and lentils. (Lentils, with their coin-shape,…

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…

Saint Stephen’s Day in Sicily

Today is Saint Stephen’s Day, a national holiday in Italy. Sicilians and Italians spend the day with family and friends visiting presepi di Natale, or nativity scenes, like this one pictured, made by Zio Lillo in Sant’Angelo Muxaro, north of Agrigento. Even more elaborate are ones presented by actors or townspeople dressed as the Holy…

The Day After Christmas in Sicily

Today, Saint Stephen’s Day, is a national holiday in Italy. Sicilians and Italians spend the day with family and friends visiting presepi di Natale, or nativity scenes, like this one pictured from Chiesa di San Bartolomeo in Scicli. Even more elaborate are ones presented by actors or townspeople dressed as the Holy Family, accompanied by…