10 delle più spettacolari celebrazioni di Pasqua in Sicilia

La Santa Pasqua in Sicilia è ricca di antichi riti e tradizioni che sono tanto colorati e varigati quanto lo è l’isola stessa. La settimana che porta a Pasqua trabocca di celebrazioni religiose, preparazioni culinarie, processioni, parate guidate da antiche confraternite nei loro particolari costumi, rievocazioni del mortirio di Gesù Cristo e della resurrezione.

Ogni celebrazione fa parte di un elaborato spettacolo che mischia religione e paganesimo nelle festività che marca la fine dell’inverno e la rinascita della primavera.

Visitare ogni piccolo paese nell settimana di Pasqua sarebbe pieno di bellissime tradizioni religiose e di colore, ogni posto ha la propria versione delle stazioni della croce che richiamano i momenti finali della vita di Gesù e ci sono molte variazioni delle processioni religiose e delle celebrazioni. La settimana inizia con l’intreccio delle fronde delle palme che vengano benedette la domenica delle Palme, la settimana raggiunge un climax drammatico con le rappresentazioni della passione e finisce con il consumo delle delicate sculture di marzapane che raffigurano gli agnelli o ‘picureddi’, pane o biscotti decorati con uova dipinte, molti piatti tradizionali e infiniti desserts nell’usuale abbondanza della tavola Siciliana.

Se stai pianificando un viaggio in Sicilia proprio per provare le festività, qui ć è una lista delle 10 più spettacolari.

Pasqua in Sicilia

Diavoluzzi di Pasqua ad Adrano

Il riflettore di Pasqua ad Adrano in provincia di Catania è la Diavolata, la rappresentazione di un antica ‘commedia’ religiosa. Scritta nel 1728, da un frate locale, viene messa in scena la sera della Domenica di Pasqua. La Diavolata rappresenta l’eterna battaglia fra bene e male. La parte principale della tragedia si focalizza sulla lotta fra diversi diavoli e San Michele Arcangelo, che non solo riesce a sconfiggere i procacciatori del male ma anche a fargli lodare Dio.

La sera prima Pasqua, c’e il volo dell’Angelo, dove una ragazza “terrorizzata” viene legata e issata lungo una corda tesa attraverso la piazza per incontrare la statua di Cristo appena risorto, dandogli il benvenuto e lodandolo. L’uso dei bambini è una parte essenziale dello spettacolo di Pasqua in Sicilia, essi infatti rappresentano la purezza in contrasto con la cattiveria dell’umanità.

 

Adrano I Diavulazzi di Pasqua

 

Gli Incappucciati ad Enna

Goethe una volta disse che aver visto l’Italia senza aver visto la Sicilia non è aver visto tutta l’Italia, perchè la Sicilia è la chiave di tutto. Ma per capire la Sicilia bisogna andare nel suo centro geografico, perchè incarna l’identità dell’isola .

La provincia di Enna è conosciuta come l’ombelico di Sicilia, ed è la casa delle più antiche tradizioni. I sinistri incappucciati sono i personaggi centrali della celebrazione di Pasqua di Enna già dal periodo Spagnolo, dal 15° al 17° secolo. Soli i maschi membri delle quindici confraternite locali partecipavano ad una serie di ben organizzate processioni, preghiere nella Cattedrale.

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 Pashkët alla Piana degli Albanesi nella provincia di Palermo

A Piana degli Albanesi e nei paesi vicini nella provincia di Palermo, Pasqua prende elementi dalla fede Greca Ortodossa. Le celebrazioni si ispirano all’antica chiesa Bizantina, infatti in molti riti religiosi rappresentati durante la settimana Santa si usano il linguaggio Greco e Albanese. Anche le città di Contessa Entellina, San Cristina Gela, Mezzojuso e Palazzo Adriano donano questa particolare caratteristica etnica alle loro celebrazioni Pasquale.

I riti religiosi a Piana degli Albanesi finiscono con il Pontificale, una splendida parata di donne in sontuosi abiti tradizionali che attraversa le strade principali della città terminando alla Cattedrale. Alla fine della parata, delle colombe bianche vengono liberate tra le canzoni in dialetto e la distribuzione di uova colorate di rosso che sono simbolo di nuova vita e del sangue di Cristo.

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 Il ballo dei diavoli a Prizzi nella provincia di Palermo

A Prizzi nella provincia di Palermo diversi diavoli e la morte stessa disturbano le celebrazioni la Domenica di Pasqua con le loro macabre danze, finchè non vengono sconfitti da personaggi angelici che permettono alle celebrazioni di continuare. I diavoli  dai costumi sgargianti rossi e gialli e le maschere pagane celebrano la resurrezione in una delle più colorate e caratteristiche celebrazioni in Sicilia, indossano una tuta rossa, con una maschera rotonda e schiacciata completata da una lunga lingua di tessuto, coperta da pelle di capra e con una catena nelle mani. Mentre la morte è vestita di giallo con una balestra in mano. La loro turbolenta danza disturba le celebrazioni religiose, finchè non comprendono   che la resurrezione li ha sconfitti.

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I giudei a San Fratello in provincia di Messina

In cima ai personaggi grotteschi nella Santa Pasqua in Sicilia ci sono i Guidei di San Fratello. Il branco di uomini incappucciati vengono fuori dal paese e disturbano la solenne processione funebre la mattina di venerdì Santo e le altre processioni durante la settimana santa in generale.

Questi personaggi vengono dalla storia della Sicilia, con tutti i loro colori, i loro scherzi e le trombe rumorose. I costumi sono tramandati da padre in figlio,simili ad un’armatura,  sono caratterizzati da un color rosso accesso, completati da elaborati elmi, strisce gialle e intricati lavori di perline, sono dei capolavori ‘viventi’ dell’arte folkloristica che rimandano allo stile del carretto siciliano.

La colonia Normanna di San Fratello è la casa di questi uomini che legano insieme i fili della storia in tutti i loro colori. L’assordante confusione che creano sembra spaventosa, ma questo pandemonio è un’affermazione della vita. Questa tradizione è ininterrotta da   generazioni è continuata perfino durante le due guerre mondiali. Grazie a questi Giudei i Sanfratellani sono stati chiamati ‘non cattolici’ e ‘diavoli’ , ma questi personaggi sono una parte importante dell’ identità di San Fratello.

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I misteri di Trapani

La processione di Trapani dei Misteri ricostruisce scene della passione di Cristo con una processione di statue di legno che raffigurano differenti scene di questa eterna storia. L’interpretazione dei Misteri di Trapani è la più conosciuta delle celebrazioni dei Misteri, semplicemente grazie alla dimensioni delle statue ed alla grande abilità artistica espressa nelle figure che sono estremamente emotive e dettagliate.

I Misteri rappresentano la passione di Cristo e gli elementi simbolici associati alla storia. A fianco le opere d’arte troviamo oggetti come, lance, martelli e corone di spine in una estesa metafora religiosa.

Le festività iniziano il Martedì dopo la domenica delle Palme con la processione della Madonna delle Pietà, conosciuta localmente come Massari. Un’ opera d’arte che risale al 16° secolo che è racchiusa in una cornice dorata. La tela mostra la Maria Addolorata, rivolta verso sinistra, su uno sfondo scuro circondata da varie reliquie sante.

 

San Biagio PalataniGli archi di Pasqua

 

Gli archi di Pasqua di San Biagio Palatani in provincia di Agrigento

Oltre gli elementi religiosi e pagani, a Pasqua si rivolge particolare attenzione alla decorazione e all’abilità artistica. A San Biagio Palatani nelle vie della città, prendono il sopravvento  archi, cupole e campane  che fanno da sfondo alle celebrazioni pasquali.

I mesi precedenti infatti, le due principali confraternite storiche di San Biagio lavorano per creare queste grandiose opere d’arte folkloristica senza dimenticare il simbolismo religioso. Vengono impiegati solo materiali naturali come bamboo, salice piangente, asparagi, foglie d’alloro, rosmarino, cereali, datteri e pane.

Gli archi vengono disposti in successione, diventando più elaborati man mano che ci si avvicina al centro della città, punto in cui durante la processione della domenica di Pasqua  la Madonna e il Cristo risorto si incontrano.

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Lu Signuri delle Fasci a Pietraperzia in provincia di Enna.

Una delle più complesse processioni dell’isola è quella di Pietreperzia, dove il ‘Signuri di li fasci’ è il protagonista di un elaborata rappresentazione liturgica.

Dopo la proclamazione della morte di Gesù il Venerdì Santo, un antico crocifisso viene fissato su un lungo tronco da cui una complessa serie di lunghe tele di lino vengono sciolte lungo le vie, accompagnate da preghiere in dialetto. Le strisce di tessuto sono resti di usanza medievale, ma l’esibizione è unica in Sicilia.

Di solito coloro che tengono le strisce di tessuto,lunghe 40 metri, stanno chiedendo una grazia, ringraziano Dio per un miracolo che è già successo o mantengono una tradizione di famiglia che li collega a Pietraperzia.

Il corteo è anche accompagnato dalla confraternita locale nei loro costumi da frati incappucciati, ć è chi porta la statua della Madonna Addolorata, chi piange la morte di Gesù  tutti accompagnati dalla banda del paese.

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La Settimana Santa a Caltanissetta

La settimana santa a Caltanissetta è veramente bellissima, dalla Domenica delle Palme alla Domenica di Pasqua c’è una settimana piena esibizioni, processioni Barocche, rievocazioni dell’ultima cena, le stazioni della croce e riti tradizionali che riflettono l’antico e a volte aristocratico passato della Sicilia.

La Domenica delle Palme vede la processione di Gesù Nazareno, una statua di Cristo è posizionata dentro una barca decorata con fiori e portata per la città per ricreare il trionfante arrivo di Gesù a Nazareth. Il lunedì di Pasqua si può assistere ad una rievocazione dell’ultima Cena.

Mentre mercoledì si tiene una parata militare,la processione della Maestrina, le famiglie nobili e un’associazione di artigiani della città creano un miscuglio di elementi civili e religiosi. La sera poi avviene la processione della Varicedde, piccole statue fatte di argilla e terracotta che raffigurano le varie stazioni della croce.

Nel triste giorno del funerale del venerdì Santo la città è in lutto e il Cristo Nero diventa il centro di una profonda processione religiosa. La statua del Cristo crocifisso utilizzata per il corteo è un’opera molto antica che viene conservata dal 14° secolo nella chiesa di San Francesco.

Mentre il corteo della via Dolorosa e della Resurrezione, che si tiene la Domenica di Pasqua, proclama la resurrezione di Cristo in una colorata parata attraverso le strade.

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La corsa di San Leone a Sinagra in provincia di Messina

Non posso fare una lista delle usanze di Pasqua senza includere la caratteristica festa del mio piccolo paese, Sinagra, che comprende l’amore per il santo patrono San Leone e la gioia della Domenica di Pasqua.

Il giorno di Pasqua,la statua di San Leone parte dalla sua chiesa di campagna in cui trascorre l’inverno, per arrivare alla chiesa madre San Michele Arcangelo nel cuore del paese dove trascorre la restante parte dell’anno. La grande statua di legno è montata su una pesante struttura di legno (la vara) portata dai devoti della commissione di San Leone.

La sera quando il Santo arriva sul ponte all’inizio del paese, i fedeli iniziano a correre  portando la statua,accompagnando la corsa con grida e preghiere, il tutto incorniciato da suggestivi fuochi d’artificio. La corsa del santo ha lo scopo di celebrare uno dei miracoli  del Santo. Si narra infatti che quando era vescovo di Catania San Leone per  sconfiggere uno stregone che affermava di essere più potente di Dio, decise di sfidarlo proponendogli di attraversare il fuoco, la sfida vide il mago morire bruciato mentre San Leo rimanere  illeso attraversando le fiamme.

EASTER in Sicily

Per una lista più completa dei posti da visitare vedi la pagina Pasqua in Sicilia 2018, ć è una meravigliosa lista che puoi usare come riferimento per qualsiasi parte dell’isola tu voglia esplorare.

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10 of the most spectacular Easter celebrations in Sicily

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Santa Pasqua in Sicily is filled with ancient rites and traditions which are as colourful and variegated as the island itself.  The week leading up to Easter is brimming with religious celebrations, food preparations, processions and parades. Each celebration is part of an elaborate pageant mixing religion and paganism in the festivities which mark the end of Winter and the rebirth of Spring.

A visit to any small town has its own versions of the Sicilian religious traditions. The week begining with intricately woven palm fronds which are blessed for Palm Sunday, reaching a dramatic climax with passion performances and ends with the consumption of delicate marzipan sculptured lambs or picureddi, breads or biscuits decorated with dyed eggs, many traditional dishes and endless desserts in the usual abundance of Sicily’s table.

If you are planning a trip to Sicilia specifically to experience the festivities, here is a list of the ten most spectacular celebrations of the island.

Pasqua in Sicilia

I Diavulazzi di Pasqua at Adrano, Catania

Easter at Adrano in the province of Catania is focused around the Diavolata a performance of an ancient religious play. Written in 1728 by a local religious brother it is performed on the evening of Easter Sunday. The Diavolata acts out the eternal battle between good and evil. The main part of the drama focuses on the struggle between several devils and St Michael the Archangel, who not only manages to defeat the evil doers but also gets them to praise God.

On the evening before Easter, there is the flight of the Angel, where a terrified looking girl is strapped in and hoisted along a tightrope across the local square to meet the statue of the freshly resurrected Christ and recites a piece of text welcoming and praising him.

Gli Incappucciati at Enna

Goethe once said to have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything. But in order to understand Sicily you need to go to  the geographical centre, because the island’s true identity is to be found there. The province of Enna is known as the belly button of Sicily and is the home to Sicily’s most ancient traditions.

The sinister hooded Incappuciati are the central characters of Enna’s Easter celebrations which dates back to the Spanish period from the 15th and 17th centuries. The male only members of the fifteen various local confraternities participate in a well organised series of processions, prayers and worship in the local Cathedral.

TOP 10 Easter Sicily

Pashkët at Piana degli Albanesi in the province of Palermo

At Piana degli Albanesi and nearby towns in the province of Palermo Easter takes on elements of the Greek Orthodox faith. The celebrations are based on the ancient Byzantine church, in fact many of the rites performed use the Greek and Albanian languages. The towns of Contessa Entellina, San Cristina Gela, Mezzojuso and Palazzo Adriano also share this particular ethnic characteristic to their Easter festivities.

The religious rites at Piano degli Albanesi end with the Pontificale, a splendid parade of women in sumptuous traditional dress which weaves its way through the main streets of the town, ending at the Cathedral. White doves are released at the end of the parade in amongst the songs of the local dialect and the distribution of red coloured eggs which are symbolic of new life and of the blood shed during the crucifixion.

 Il ballo dei diavoli at Prizzi in the province of Palermo

At Prizzi in the province of Palermo several devils and death itself disturb the celebrations on Easter day with their macabre dance, until they are eventually defeated by other angelic characters.

The devils are dressed in one piece red jump suits, with a large round flat faced masks complete with a long fabric tongue, covered in a goat skin and with a chain in their hands. While death is dressed in yellow with crossbow in hand.

I giudei at San Fratello in Messina province

The apex of the grotesque characters in Sicily’s Santa Pasqua are the Giudei of San Fratello. The flocks of hooded brightly dressed men take over the village and disturb the solemn funeral procession on the morning of Good Friday and other processions during the week.

These characters come out of Sicily’s history, with all of their colour, practical jokes and loud trumpeting. The costumes are handed down from father to son, are in a bright red pseudo military style, complete with elaborate helmets, bright yellow striped lapels and intricate beading work, which make them like living breathing works of folk art echoing the vibrant designs of the traditional carretto Siciliano.

The Medieval Norman colony of San Fratello is the home to these strangely dressed men who gather out of the ether and tie together many strands of history. The deafening confusion they create seems frightening, but this pandemonium is a life affirming chaos. This celebration has gone on uninterrupted for generations, it went on during both world wars. Thanks to these Giudei the Sanfratellani have been called ‘non catholic’ and ‘devils,’ , yet these characters are a central part of San Fratello’s identity.

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 I misteri of Trapani

Trapani’s Misteri procession re-enacts scenes from the passion of Christ, with a procession of detailed heavy wooden statues depicting different scenes from this eternal story. The celebration at Trapani is probably the most well known of the Misteri based festivities, which occur through out the island, simply because of the dimensiona of the statues and the amazing artistry of the figures which are extremely emotive and detailed.

The Misteri, depict the passion of Christ and the symbolic elements also associated with the story. Side by side with the artworks are objects like spears, hammers and a crown of thorns in an extended religious metaphor, like an elaborate Mystery play from the Middle Ages.

The festivities in Trapani begin on the Tuesday after Palm Sunday with the procession of the Modonna of the Pieta’ known locally as the Massari. An artwork which dates back to the sixteenth century which is displayed within an ornate golden frame. The canvas depicts the Maria Addolorata who is looking to her left on a dark background with many holy relics.

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 Gli archi di Pasqua of San Biagio Palatani in the province of Agrigento

Apart from the religious and pagan elements to Easter there is also an immense dedication to decoration and artistry. At San Biagio Platani the city’s streets are taken over by elaborately constructed archways, domes, bells and religious artworks.

In the months before Easter the two major historical confraternities of San Biagio work to create a gigantic piece of public folk art. Using only natural materials to decorate the streets with arches, all with religious and natural symbolism like bamboo, weeping willow, asparagus, laurel leaves, rosemary, cereals, dates and bread.

The series of decorated archways, become increasingly elaborate as they reach the central part of the town, which becomes the focal point of the Easter Sunday procession as the Madonna and the resurrected Christ meet at precisely at the centre of the decorations.

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 Lu Signuri delle Fasci at Pietraperzia in Enna province

One of the most elaborate and complex processions on the island is that of Pietraperzia near the centre of the island where the Signuri di li fasci creates an elaborate piece of liturgical performance.

On Good Friday, an historical crucifix is fixed to a tall log and a complex series of linen strips are wrapped around its base. The white strands are held by devout followers as the procession makes its way delicately through the streets, accompanied by prayers in the local dialect. The fabric strands are reminiscent of medieval Maypoles but the performance is unique to Sicily.

Usually those who hold onto the forty meter long fabric strips are either asking for a miracle, or are giving thanks to God for a divine intervention which has already occurred or are maintaining a family tradition. The cavalcade is accompanied by the local confraternity in their hooded monk costumes, who carry the statue of the Madonna dell’Addolorata.

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 La Settimana Santa at Caltanissetta

Easter week at Caltanissetta is truly amazing, Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday is a week filled with elaborate performances, baroque processions, renactments of the last supper, the stations of the cross and traditional rites which reflect Sicily’s ancient and at times aristocratic past.

Palm Sunday sees the Processione of Gesù Nazareno, where a statue of Christ is placed within an elaborate boat shaped flower decorated float and carried around the city in a recreation of Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Nazareth. Easter Monday there is a performance of the Last Supper.

While on Wednesday the procession of the Maestranza sees a parade of local military, nobel families and artisan guilds of the city in a blend of civic and religious elements.

On the sombre funeral day of Good Friday while the city is in mourning and the Cristo Nero (or darkened Christ- because of its colour) becomes the focus of a deeply religious procession.

 

La corsa di San Leone at Sinagra in Messina province

I cannot possibly make up a list of suggestive Easter celebrations without mentioning my own little Sicilian village which combines the love of the local patron saint San Leone with the joy of Easter.

San Leone is taken on an elaborate procession from his country church, of the same name, to the main parish church of San Michele Archangelo in the heart of the town. As the large wooden statue is mounted on a heavy wooden float carried by the confraternity of San Leone.

When the Saint arrives at the bridge at the beginning of the town, the statue runs over the bridge accompanied by suggestive fireworks. The running of the Saint recalls one of his miracles. While San Leone was the Bishop of Catania he confronted a magician who claimed to be more powerful than God. The Saint challenged him to a literal baptism of fire, which saw the magician burnt to death while Saint Leo remained unscathed by the flames of a bomb fire.

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For a more complete list of places to visit see the page Pasqua in Sicilia 2018, (in Italian) it has a wonderful list you can use as a reference according to which part of the island you would like to visit.

Click on image of Santo Leo above to see a video of his celebrations at Sinagra on Facebook.

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Sicilian Moments

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Calogero Ricciardello is a talented Sicilian videomaker who has worked in Europe and Australia over the past decade. He is currently based in Bologna, which is also where he completed his studies in Experimental Cinema and Documentary.
Despite working in many different places Calogero has never forgotten his native island and his new project is dedicated to creating a series of loving portraits of Sicily.
Calogero’s Sicilian Moments are short documentaries dedicated to every day life in Sicilia and reflect his personal relationship with the island.

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He told Sicily Inside and Out more about them in a short interview recently:

Tell us a little about yourself and Sicilian Moments. What is Sicilian Moments?
Talking about Sicilian Moments is like sharing a piece of myself, of my origins, of my childhood and the connections I have with this land.
My story is similar to many others. Tales of departures, sacrifice, hope. You leave Sicily for many reasons but then you always return. This place becomes a part of you, and you can never really forget: when you find yourself living else where, you find yourself always thinking about it. It’s a common feeling many Sicilians have when they no longer live in Sicily.
Sicilian moments is a project which will shorten this emotional distance, which will allow everyone to get closer to Sicilian culture, through the tale of its traditions and culture.

What is the inspiration behind this project?
To show my homeland, always through strong and deep emotions. To enter in contact with the people, the way of life and the musicality of our dialect, all of this makes me feel like a part of something. Something which I still don’t know or completely understand but I am trying to trace and show through these small ‘moments’.

 Why Sicily and the Nebrodi region in particular?
The Nebrodi mountains were the landscape of my childhood. I grew up surrounded by the green of the mountains, in a small hamlet, where we children were left free to explore and understand the countryside. Fortunately, there still weren’t any smartphones or internet.
I remember adventures on motorini, through the pine trees and country roads. Here nature is grand, powerful and therapeutic. You cannot help but feel happy when you find yourself in these places. Of course my relationship with the Nebrodi is more profound than the rest of Sicily, I know this area very well but my work will not focus only here. Sicilian Moments is a project which is about all of Sicily.

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What is you particular connection or relationship with Sicily?
A strong connection ties me to Sicily from birth, ever since my parents gave me this name. ‘Calogero’ which has Greek origins, but is a typical Sicilian name. This name in itself defines a specific origin in a precise place. Being named like this means being one hundred percent Sicilian.

Is there a specific memory that you can’t wait to explore with a Sicilian Moments video?
There is no specific memory in particular it is rather a collection of sensations, smells and sounds, I wish to explore in some way. My work isn’t forced, it’s spontaneous and I sotry to be authentic. Of course these short stories will be faithful to the seasons and the traditions, gestures and festivities, who follow them.

 Complete this phrase: For me the beauty of Sicily is …
the collective joy which is born out of a deep sense of belonging to this land.

Where can we hear more about your videos or become involved in this project?
There is already a Facebook page for the project, which is updated daily with new videos. Other then that I am still going ahead with a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds on the Produzioni del Basso web page, so anyone can make a small donation, to contribute and make this project happen.

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The main sponsor of the documentary series will be the Pistí group, an important producer of artisan Sicilian pastries and desserts. It is thanks to its owner business man Nino Marino, a great supporter of the Nebrodi region, that this project is moving ahead.

If you are interested in hearing more about Calogero Ricciardello and his projects see Sicilian Moments Facebook page here, for a sneek peek some video’s look at Calogero’s web page here and for more information on how to donate please visit the crowdfunding page here.

Calogero Ricciardello

Calogero Ricciardello is a director of Sicilian origin. He graduated at the University of Bologna in Experimental Cinema and Documentary. He started his career as a camera operator and video editor for Italian television. He has worked extensively in Australia as a director and photography director in various documentaries and many video projects as well as a stringer for a news agency in Berlin. Now he lives in Bologna, Italy, where he continues his work as a director and video maker.

Thanks so much to Calogero for finding the time to answer our questions. Best of luck with the project and congratulations for the wonderful initiative and creativity. Looking forward to seeing many beautiful Sicilian Moments.

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Momenti Siciliani

Momenti Siciliani

Calogero Ricciardello e’ un talentuoso videomaker Siciliano che ha lavorato ampiamente in Europa e Australia durante il decennio passato. Attualmente si e’ stabilito a Bologna dove ha studiato film making alla storica Universita’ di Bologna.

Nonostante abbia lavorato in tutto il mondo Calogero non ha mai dimenticato la sua isola nativa, e il suo nuovo progetto e’ dedicato alle creazione di una serie di affettuosi ritratti di questo enigmatico posto.

I ‘Momenti Siciliani’ (Sicilian Moments) di Calogero sono brevi documentari dedicati alla vita quotidiana in Sicilia, e riflettono il suo personale rapporto con l’isola.

Recentemente ce ne ha parlato meglio a Sicily Inside and Out in una breve intervista.

Sicilian Moments italiano

Racconta un po’ di te stesso e di Sicilian Moments. Che cos’e’ Sicilian Moments?

Raccontare di Sicilian moments è come raccontare una parte di me, delle mie radici, della mia infanzia, dei legami che ho con questa Terra.
La mia è una storia simile a molte altre storie. Storie di partenze, di sacrifici, di speranze. Si lascia la Sicilia per tanti motivi ma poi ci si ritorna sempre. Questa è una Terra che ti rimane dentro, non te ne liberi facilmente; quando ti trovi a non viverla, finisci per pensarla in continuazione. È un sentimento comune che ho ritrovato in molti siciliani che non vivono più in Sicilia.
Sicilian moments è un progetto che accorcerà, sentimentalmente, queste distanze, permetterà a tutti di avvicinarsi un po’ di più alla cultura siciliana, attraverso il racconto di tradizioni e di gesti.

Qual e’ stata l’ispirazione/spinta per questo progetto?

Raccontare la mia Terra mi da sempre una emozione forte e profonda. Entrare in contatto con la gente, con il modo di vivere e con la musicalità del nostro dialetto, tutto questo mi fa sentire parte di qualcosa. Qualcosa che ancora non ho capito bene di cosa si tratta ma che sto cercando di tracciare e mostrare attraverso questi piccoli “momenti”.

 Perche’ la Sicilia e i Nebordi in particolare?

I Nebrodi hanno fatto da sfondo a tutta la mia adolescenza. Sono cresciuto circondato dal verde delle montagne, in una piccola contrada, dove noi ragazzini eravamo lasciati liberi di esplorare e conoscere la campagna. Non esistevano ancora internet e i telefonini, fortunatamente. Ricordo le scampagnate in motorino con gli amici, tra le pinete e le strade sterrate. Qui la natura è maestosa, imponente, terapeutica. Non puoi che stare bene quando ti trovi in questi posti. Certo il mio rapporto con i Nebrodi è molto profondo rispetto a tutto il resto della Sicilia, conosco molto bene queste zone ma il mio lavoro non si concentrerà solo qui. Sicilian moments è un progetto che riguarda tutta la Sicilia.

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Qual e’ il tuo collegamento/rapporto con la Sicilia?

Un legame stretto mi lega alla Sicilia fin dalla nascita, da quando i miei genitori mi assegnarono questo nome. “Calogero” deriva dal greco ma è un nome tipicamente siciliano. Un nome che racchiude in sé una provenienza, un luogo bel preciso. Chiamarsi così significa essere siciliano a priori.

C’e’ un ricordo della tua Sicilia che non vedi l’ora di esplorare con un video di Sicilian Moments?

Non c’è un ricordo particolare, sono più che altro un insieme di sensazioni, odori, suoni che vorrei in qualche modo esprimere. Il mio è un lavoro senza forzature, spontaneo e il più possibile fedele alle cose. Certo questi piccoli racconti saranno fedeli all’avanzare delle stagioni e quindi a tutte le tradizioni, ai gesti e alle festività che ne seguiranno.

Complete questa frase: Per me la bellezza della Sicilia e’ ….

Quella gioia collettiva che nasce dal profondo senso d’appartenenza a questa Terra.

Come possiamo stare aggiornati con vostri video o essere piu’ coinvolti in questo progetto?

C’è già una pagina Facebook del progetto, dove tutti saranno aggiornati quotidianamente suoi nuovi video. Inoltre, sta andando ancora avanti la campagna per la raccolta fondi sulla piattaforma Produzioni dal basso, quindi ognuno può fare una donazione e contribuire così alla riuscita del progetto.

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Lo sponsor principale del progetto sarà Pistí, il grande laboratorio di pasticceria siciliana. Tutto questo grazie alla spinta dell’imprenditore Nino Marino, da sempre grande sostenitore del territorio e di nuove idee.

Se siete interessati e volete saperne di piu’ su Calogero Ricciardello e i suoi progetti visitate la pagina Facebook del suo progetto qui.

Per maggiori informazioni su come donare a Sicilian Moments per favore visitate la pagina di crowdfunding qui

E se volete vedere i video di Calogero, ed un’ anteprima di Sicilian Moments  il sito e’ qui.

Calogero Ricciardello

Calogero Ricciardello è un regista di origine siciliana. Laureato al Dams di Bologna in cinema sperimentale e documentario, inizia la sua carriera come operatore e montatore video in una rete televisiva a Venezia. Negli ultimi anni ha lavorato in Australia come regista e direttore della fotografia per vari documentari e come stringer per un’agenzia di news di Berlino. Tornato in Italia, vive e lavora a Bologna senza mai dimenticare la sua amata Sicilia, al centro di numerosi progetti.

Grazie mille a Calogero per avere trovato un momento per rispondere alle mie domande.

Auguri per questo nuovo progetto e non vediamo l’ora di guardare i suoi Sicilian Moments.

In bocca al lupo.

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Turin Epicurean Capital 2017

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Blogging in Italy is a very small universe which means it’s easy to meet people from all around the country and make connections thanks to the many overlapping elements of Italian culture which bind together all the regions on the peninsular.

One of the most passionate bloggers and champions of Italian culture, in this niche, has to be Lucia Hannau, who is based in Turin and tirelessly promotes the beauty of her native region Piedmont to the world.

Lucia and I have gradually become friends thanks to our shared obsession with Instagram and all things food and wine. Recently I was happy to do a brief interview with her about her work and the event she organises in June every year which brings together many Italophiles to Turin.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and Turin Epicurean.

I was born and raised in Turin and after spending 11 years in the US where I was teaching Italian at college level I came back to my hometown.

Looking at Turin through the eyes of the foreigner I saw (and still see) so much potential and this is what led me to Turin Epicurean Capital.

Moving from the Midwest to Turin I had access to bountiful of foods and flavours, activities and events that I thought: people need to come over and enjoy.

This is how Turin Epicurean Capital was born.

Currently 80% of the tourists in Turin are Italians from other regions and the remaining 20% is mostly made up by French and Germans. Because most non Italian tourists just spend 1.5 day in Turin I thought of giving them an excuse to stay longer and this is why Turin Epicurean Capital lasts 3 days.

It is three days of round tables about food, wine, fashion and life style in the morning and different activities in the afternoon.

The participants are food and travel bloggers, culinary professionals, designers and authors. Just a couple are from Turin and all the others are non­ Italians.

They come over to enjoy what I like to call our “vida royal” and this year most of them will spend a whole week in Turin!

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What’s this years Turin Epicurean shaping up to be, what’s happening and who will be there.

This year we’ll have different round tables, from Turin we’ll have Patrizia Balbo, an astrologer who has just published her book about shoes, “The Bold and The Beautiful” American actor, Daniel McVicar – now a Turinese and Adriana Delfino who will present her creative process and works on June 22 at 4pm.

Guests attending this year include multi award food photographer Ilva Beretta, English jam maker Jennifer Williams of Naked Jams, a wine connoisseur couple – the Sassodoros or Bill and Margaret Goldstein, Slow Food London patron Jan Egan aka The Watchful Cook, Turin expat in the UK Carolina Stupino, My Persian Kitchen author Sanam Lamborn, famous Christina Conte of Christina’s Cucina and wine expert Amanda Courtney.

Each morning at 11am in group of four they will talk about how food and wine has influenced their lives and careers. Those who are currently living in Italy will share their culture shock stories as well as those who live abroad will compare the differences in lifestyles.

Food, pace of life and fashion are what makes our lives special, together with how we can savour life better, is basically the core of Turin Epicurean Capital.

In Turin people complain a lot but we are blessed with such high quality cuisine and art which is just simply take for granted, we are barely aware of it anymore.

On the afternoon of June 21, we’ll have a cooking class with a new chef and a new school, this year it will be Chef Marco Giachello who has worked in many famous restaurants and with the Associazione Qubi’. The Turin Epi cooking class is maybe the most looked forward activity. This year though we’ll also have an aperitif on June 22 after Adriana Delfino’s presentation. Adriana is a neuropsychologist who will explain to us what happens in our brains as we eat different textures and flavours.

Finally, on June 23 we’ll enjoy the first part of the celebrations for St John, Turin’s patron saint.

June 24th in Turin is like our July 4th we have parades in historical costumes and fireworks on the river but for some reason it is hard to find pictures online…

So I thought of inviting everybody over to enjoy the historical costumes and the bonfire on the evening of June 23.

It is really a great time to be in Turin, people can have dinner out and the city literally comes to life!

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Tell us what sites we should be seeing on a visit to Turin?

To quote Ishita Sood from the blog Italophilia who recently spent a week in Turin: 7 days aren’t enough.

First of all the city center is built on the grid of an old Roman military camp, so you’ll need 1 day to walk and window shop Via Garibaldi and Via Roma, Piazza Castello, Piazza San Carlo and Piazza Carlo Felice.

This is the real heart of Turin and you can almost physically grasp the royal atmosphere.

Then, we have Mole Antonelliana the tallest building in Europe and also symbol of Turin, it’s our Eiffel Tower and it hosts an amazing national cinema museum, where you can take the elevator up to look at the city from the top. Another must­ see museum is the Egyptian museum currently the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Here you can admire the personal objects of one of the pharaoh’s architects and his wife, animal mummies, 3 princesses’ mummies and so many unique and perfectly preserved papyri.

Everybody loves these two museums!

Food wise, one morning should be spent at the Porta Palazzo market the largest open air market in Europe! It is really impressive, there are many sections: produce, fish (no stink!!), deli, meat, farmers’, houseware and clothes.

Harry Potter’s fans should go to the Valentino Park on the river, while coffee lovers should go on a coffee shop tour of the most famous royal coffee shops.

Al Bicerin though, should be the coffee shop you stop at before going to the market.

Finally, one of the royal palaces… we have so many… however, Villa della Regina is a unique place with its urban vineyard!

Palazzi Turino

What’s it like to live in Turin, try describing it to someone who has never been.

It is very hectic, sometimes even more than NYC. Apparently, in Turin we walk a lot more than in Milan but compared to NYC and other Italian cities, Turin is much more manageable in terms of lifestyle: the week­end is quite relaxing and we do enjoy the public piazzas. On the week days we still find the time to sit down for a coffee or a cocktail with friends after work. It is quite common to go to the theatre once a week or to concerts.

I personally love walking and doing window shopping, having a gelato and to munch on a black olives or nut bread on my way home.

It is quite different from anything you might experience and see in Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples and Milan.

Turin has a main square in a very 18th century style, a bit like Philadelphia. Kinda French and yet so very much Italian with an understated flare.

And then of course, the food and wine culture is out of this world: chocolate, wines, vermouth, aperitifs, we do indulge yet always in our regal way 😉

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What should we be eating and drinking while in Turin, describe your ultimate Turinese meal.

It really depends on the seasons but generally speaking: vitello tonnato – a cold teenage veal roast thinly sliced and topped with a tuna and capers mayo; a risotto or 40 egg yolk tajarin pasta with shaved white truffles; red wine braised roast; chocolate bunet pudding with a glass of delish Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco.

These are some of our staple foods but you still get an idea.

I’m always encouraging people to visit Sicily at different times of the year, when do you think is the best time to visit, what festivities really reflect the culture and the people the best.

Usually, the international high season in Piedmont is the Fall because of the harvest, the colours that change and the truffles fair while the more Italian high season is the winter because people go skiing on the Alps.

I think all the four seasons are actually amazing here: in February we have a unique Carnival celebration in Ivrea (1h driving from Turin) with an orange battle. Starting in the spring till the Fall every hamlet and small town has a wine or local festival.

Easter is particularly glorious in Turin because of our humongous chocolate eggs. May calls for the international book fair, June is St John’s,

November we have ChocolaTO the chocolate festival and the indie cinema fest in Turin plus the winter lights are turned on and each street has a different pattern.

Anytime of the year Turin is amazing, really!

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Piazza San Carlo, Turin. Image c/o Lucia Hannau.

You are also a passionate Instagramer, who else besides you should we be following to see great images and insights into the city of Turin.

Turin photographer Valerio Minato takes the best pictures of Turin however each resident on instagran portrays a side of the city that is quite representative of who they are.

Any more suggestions for Piedmont in general.

If you love castles, medieval abbeys, art, cheese, chocolate, wine and hazelnuts, Piedmont is your place. Up in the Alps, on the lakes, in our hamlets on the hills, anywhere you go, you’ll be living in a fairy tale.

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Villa della Regina and its vineyard. Image c/o Lucia Hannau.

What souvenirs should we be bringing home from Turin?

Wine bottles, artisan chocolates (a mix of gianduiotti and cremini), a tin of Pastiglie Leone, clothes and accessories by our local very talented designers, a t­ shirt saying espresso or vermouth was born in Turin, a fridge magnet with the green bull fountain and a chocolate liquor bottle shaped like Mole Antonelliana. 

Come to Turin and Piedmont and enjoy our vida royal, you’ll love it!

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Caffe’ San Carlo in Piazza San Carlo. Image c/o Lucia Hannau.

 

Thanks ever so much to Lucia for finding the time to talk to me. I’d like to compliment her for her dedication to promoting her piece of Italy.

Turin Epicurean is a wonderful event for visitors to have an authentic and valuable Italian experience. Many thanks also for the wonderful images Lucia provided for this post.

Turin final

I’d like to dedicate this article to the beautiful city of Turin, who this week inadvertently became a victim of terrorism, there was no direct attack but the people watching the soccer match in their beloved Piazza San Carlo were gripped by panic after the sound of an explosion, which turned out to be nothing more than a banal joke. Nonetheless the people gathered to watch the game between the local team Juventus and Real Madrid were caught up in a tidal wave of fear which resulted in many injuries and chaos. Turin will pick itself up and recover but I’d like to take a moment to send my prayers to all victims of all forms of terrorism.

Lucia

A native of Turin, Lucia Hannau has organised Turin Epicurean Capital since 2014 to share her city with the rest of the world. A picky eater, chocoholic and yoga practitioner, Lucia bakes focaccia, loves going to the movies and eats gelato all year long. When she is not teaching ESL or ITA L2, she is THE Turin person to refer to.

For more details visit Turin Epicurean’s web page, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube.

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Yuletide Sicily

The festive season is always a beautiful time of the year to visit Sicily as it is filled with the colours, tastes and sensations of a traditional Sicilian Christmas.

A Yuletide Sicily offers visitors a unique way of experiencing the island which is inhabited by less tourists and is ultimately a more authentically Italian celebration.

December in Sicily is about traditions based around the nativity, Christmas markets with a little decadence thrown in.

I Presepi di Acireale (The art of the Nativity)  3rd December – 6th January Acireale (Catania)

The Christmas Nativity has always been a font of inspiration for folk artists who choose to represent the manger scene every year as part of the festive celebrations. Italian’s often put up their Christmas trees together with a home-made nativity and this art form is also reflected in the ancient art of the nativity construction in every form (from ceramics, papier-mâché, to theatrical representations of the scenes surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ)

Every year at Acireale there is the Itinerary of the Nativity in the Chiesetta della Madonna della Neve, which is an exhibition dedicated to depictions of the nativity dating back to the 1700’s. A series of churches display these traditional pieces of art, the papier-mâché nativities are displayed in the Church of San Rocco, the elaborate Neapolitan Nativities and high art nativities are in the Basilica Collegiata di San Sebastiano.

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The feast day celebration of Santa Barbara Paternó (Catania) 3rd, 4th and 5th December and 11th December

This colorful Saint day celebration begins gradually over the month of November and reaches its climax over a three day pageant celebration filled with formal ceremonies, processions and fireworks over the 3rd,4th and 5th of December, officially coming to an end on the 11th of December with the procession of the Saint’s relics around the town.

The style of the Santa Barbara celebrations at Paternó is reminiscent of the bigger celebration of Sant Agata at Catania in February, in fact both Saints are loved by the locals and both have saved their cities from a major eruption of lava from the Mount Etna volcano in 1780.

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Teatro Messina Catania Image from Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mandarx/3173195407)

Natale a Catania 8th December – 31st January

The festive season brings the best out of the major cities for example the historical centre and squares of Catania are filled with the vibrancy and colours of many events including: Christmas markets, theatrical shows, art exhibitions, street performances and nativity displays.

The 8th of December is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Festa dell’Immacolata Concezione), the Madonna is also a patron of the city and the main celebrations in the Chiesa di San Francesco d’Assisi is filled with pomp and ancient religious traditions.

Festa dell’Immacolata Concezione: Termini Immerse (Palermo) 8th December

The celebration of the Immaculate Conception is an important celebration throughout Italy and other predominantly Roman Catholic countries, here in Sicily it is a public holiday and is filled with suggestive religious celebrations.

The most elaborate celebrations happen in towns where the Madonna of the Immaculate Conception is the patron saint, for example at Termine Immerse in Palermo province the Concezione della SS.Vergine Madre di Dio Maria has been worshipped since 1624. In almost all the churches of the city the icon of the Madonna is decorated with floral offerings including the first known wooden sculpture in the city dedicated to the Madonna, made in 1799 by Palermitano sculpture Francesco Quattrocchi. The sculpture is housed in the main church in the piazza Duomo and is the focus of religious processions and celebrations all around Termini.

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Image of Catania from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/leandrociuffo/4200097689

Presepe Vivente Termini Immerse (Palermo) 25th – 6th January

Also at Termini Immerse there is the performance of the Nativity where the whole town participates to recreate biblical times and scenes from the birth of Jesus. It is a suggestive tradition which sees the entire community celebrate the central story at the heart of a Catholic Christmas. It also sees many old houses and palaces which are usually close, open up to display many folk traditions such as music and art.

Festa Immacolata Concezione: Caltagirone (Catania) 8th December

Another big celebration dedicated to the Immaculate conception is in the famous ceramics city of Caltagirone which hosts a colorful Medieval procession and a Sagra food festival (dedicated to the Muffuletta a traditional bread made with fennel seeds), besides the usual religious celebrations.

The Corteo Storico del Senato Civico dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries and includes a colorful procession in traditional costumes, flag throwing and drumming.

Longi in the province of Messina
Longi in the province of Messina

Natale a Longi e Sagra del Suino Nero: Longi (Messina) December 8 – 5th January

Christmas in Sicily is also dedicated to food, so the usual succession of Sagra food festivals are filled with the Sicilian’s rich source of culinary delights which are indeed never-ending.

One suggestive mountain town in the province of Messina organises a series of traditional and fun wintertime events over December. There is something magical about celebrating Christmas up in the mountains, around bonfires, surrounded by the sounds of traditional music, church services, processions, christmas carols and the promise of sipping a warming grappa liquor after a rich meal in a local Trattoria.

The Suino Nero dei Nebrodi, is a famous breed of pig which is perfect to taste in a hearty sauce in home-made pasta but also in hand-made salami hence making it perfect as the focus of this little village’s annual Sagra celebration.

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ChocoModica : Modica (Ragusa) 8th – 11th December

For lovers of fine chocolate the series of stands dedicated to the delicate preparation of the ancient recipe of Modican chocolatiers in the splendid historical centre of this Baroque town.

This world-famous high quality chocolate is showcased in this celebration organized by the town of Modica and is filed with many events including: guided tasting tours, demonstrations, exhibitions and other cultural events.

This Chocolate Show is dedicated to local chocolate artisans and seeks to showcase this local Sicilian product and the entire culture of the town. Many of the museums are opened during extended visiting hours, special concerts and shows are organised and local restaurants prepare special dishes and menus which show off the taste of their special chocolate.

Festa di Santa Lucia: Syracuse 13th – 20th December

The feast day of Santa Lucia is one of the biggest saint day celebrations in Sicily, along with St Agata of Catania, St Lucy is a native of Sicily which makes her a focal point in the local historic and religious culture.

The celebrations honor Santa Lucia as patron of Syracuse (Siracusa) with the traditions honoring the celebration of lights associated with other northern European celebrations for St Lucy day together with the  Fiera di Santa Lucia (markets of St Lucy).

Saint Lucy was born in Syracuse at the end of the third century and her celebrations include processions of her holy icon from the Cathedral (Duomo) to the Church of Saint Lucy’s tomb (Sepolcro), the procession is made up of a carriage from the 17th century, with people in traditional dress.

The celebrations in honor of Santa Lucia are one of the most ancient on the island, so seeing and participating these rituals you are witnessing a truly unique and authentic piece of islander heritage and tradition.

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