The Feast of Sant’Agata, Day 2

Last night, Catania’s Piazza del Duomo, the main city square, was jammed with onlookers awestruck by the magnificent fireworks display choreographed to symphonic music. Last year, when I witnessed it, my breath was taken away by the magnitude of the presentation. It was unlike any other pyrotechnic display I have seen! Simply stupendous! Today at…

The Legend of Sant’Agata or Saint Agnes (Saint Agatha), Part 2

This 1786 painting by Mariano Rossi (1731-1807), The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha (on display in the Museo Civico at Castello Ursino in Catania), gives us a glimpse into the fate of our beloved Christian patroness. To recap from yesterday’s post, after the beautiful virgin Agatha refused the advances of the Roman prefect Quintianus, he arrested…

Saint Agatha’s Breasts

Make no mistake, these pastry are created to look like breasts. And, I will say also, that it is a celebration of them! I’m preparing you for the big feast in Catania. From February 3 to 5, Eastern Sicily’s largest city (and the second largest in Sicily) is alive with passionate fervor as devotees celebrate…

Long Live Sant’Agata!

This morning we were back in Catania’s center to join the cittadini of the city in celebration of their beloved Sant’Agata. NB This isn’t an American parade! No barriers. No policemen on horseback. Just fellowship and trust amongst neighbors. We could walk right up to the carrozza and touch it and give the caretakers candles…

Keeping You Abreast

From February 3 to 5 the city of Catania is alive with passionate fervor as devotees celebrate their patron, Saint Agatha. These ricotta-filled pastry, pictured, called “minna di Sant’Aita” or Saint Agatha’s Breast represent Agatha, who is the patron saint of martyrs, bakers, earthquakes, wet nurses, and breast cancer patients. Her story starts in early…

If you thought this pastry looked like a breast, you were right. It’s called a “minna di St. Aita” or Saint Agatha’s Breast, and during the Feast of Saint Agatha that takes place annually in these first days of February, these are eaten with fervor in the city of Catania in honor of its patron…