The Giudei of San Fratello: part 2

During the Giudei's procession, I am introduced to a local academic and former mayor of San Fratello, Professor Salvatore Mangione. He offers me a drink at a small bar, together with other acquaintances. This gives me a chance to get off the crowded street and out of the confusion. I stand at the bar for…

The Giudei of San Fratello: part 1

San Fratello is perched high up in the rambling Sicilian highlands, nesting itself in the crown of the Nebrodi Mountains, which run along the Tyrrhenian coast towards Palermo. The road on the way to the town negotiates its way through the mountains like an elaborate obstacle course; every car is climbing up navigates hairpin curves…

10 Spectacular Easter Celebrations in Sicily

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 festival is part of an elaborate pageant mixing religion and paganism in the festivities which mark the…

Leonforte at the beating heart of Sicily

        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 its geographical centre because the key to the island’s identity is there. The province…

An early Easter in Sicily

  By far the most spectacular time of year to visit Sicily has to be in the springtime, as it is filled with sunshine, freshness and the pageantry of Easter adds a distinctive colour and theatricality to the island. Easter in Italy certainly isn't all chocolate eggs and bunnies (even though they have them here…

Buono come’ il pane : As good as bread

It is very Sicilian to say someone is as good as bread.There is nothing better or pure and simple as freshly baked bread. Lui e’ buono come pane means he is as ‘good as gold’ as Australians say. Sicilians are less materialistic in their turn of phrase, history has made them humble and appreciate the gift…