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Festivals and events

'Dive' into the life of the cheerful Southern Italians and 'give in' to their fascinating joie de vivre and hospitality!

Here is a short survey of some interesting and worthwhile festivals and events on Sicily.

Festivals and events

'Dive' into the life of the cheerful Southern Italians and 'give in' to their fascinating joie de vivre and hospitality!

Here is a short survey of some interesting and worthwhile festivals and events on Sicily.



Carnevale di Acireale - an experience of a special kind

The carnival celebrations of Acireale are said to be the most beautiful on Sicily.
They take place between January and February.


Festa di Sant'Agata

Festival in honor of Catania’s patron saint Saint Agatha (here: in the Cathedral square of Catania). The Festa di Sant'Agata at Catania is one of the most important religious festivals on Sicily.

During the three-day procession, men carry the saint’s statue through the streets; they do not sleep and they take only short breaks for eating and drinking to keep up their strength.




At the beginning of March, the "Chocobarocco" festival takes place at Modica.
Artfully designed chocolate creations are presented by the town’s numerous pasticcerie.

The technique used for producing Modica’s famous chocolate was already used by the old Aztecs.




Festa del Grano

During a 4-day festival at the end of April the old types of grain, e.g. emmer, einkorn and spelt, play an important role. The event aims at raising people’s awareness of a healthy diet. It was therefore one of the town’s concerns to involve the young people in the event, too.

In an old inner courtyard at Modica, not only producers from the surrounding area present their products, e.g. pasta, bread and pastry made from grain cultivated according to old tradition, but young people from Modica perform dances they have rehearsed themselves and they take an active part in the organization of the festival. 


Procession with typically Sicilian carts (in Sicilian: "carrettu")

The craft of the cart painters has its origin in times before society became motorized.

The carts are decorated with artful wooden structures, and then fastened with irons. They used to serve for transporting crops, wine and olive oil.


Sagra del Carciofo - Artichoke festival

In April, a lot of festivals on Sicily are dedicated to the artichoke. They count among the most important gastronomic events in spring. At the weekends at the beginning of April, Sagra del Carciofo at the agricultural town of Ramacca in the province of Catania celebrates one of the town’s most important products, the artichoke.




Every year since 1980, the flower festival of Noto, the Infiorata, has been taking place on the third Sunday in May. In the heart of the historic Old Town, Via Nicolaci, one of Noto’s avenues, is covered with a colorful carpet of flowers, a fascinating spectacle known far beyond the borders of Sicily.  


Classical tragedies at the Greek theater

Every year, from May to June, famous Greek tragedies are performed at the Greek theater of Syracuse, for example "The Persians" by Aeschylus or plays by Sophocles or Euripides. The theater was built in 470 BC and, with seating for 15,000 spectators, it was the largest of the ancient world.

Trecastagni (on the southern slope of Mount Etna)

Festa di Sant'Alfio

Every year, the ceremony starts with spectacular fireworks and the arrival of the pilgrims. The statues of the saints Alfio, Filadelfo and Cirino are carried through the village in a procession. Every year up to 300,000 pilgrims from all over the world come to Trecastagni to honor the saints. 



Palazzolo Acreide

Festa per San Paolo

In the mountain village of Palazzolo Acreide near Noto with its gorgeous Baroque church the festival in honor of Saint Paolo takes place every year. Fantastic fireworks open the three-day festivities on Sunday and a top-class pyrotechnical spectacle on Tuesday marks their end. 

San Vito Lo Capo

Festa di San Vito

June 15th honors the patron saint San Vito Martire of San Vito Lo Capo. The fishermen do not want to miss out on celebrating their saint either. That is why you find all the fishing boats of San Vito Lo Capo lying at anchor in the harbor. In the evening, the statue of the saint is carried in procession through the alleys of the village.




Festa del Mare

Festa del Mare in honor of Saint Assunta takes place every year on "Ferragosto", August 15th, and it is one of the liveliest festivities at Syracuse.

Besides religious ceremonies, visitors can attend many sportive events. The highlight of Festa del Mare is the regatta in which the five town districts of Syracuse compete with each other.
After the awards ceremony spectacular fireworks over the sea mark the end of the festival


Festa del Pomodoro

Have you ever tried the cherry tomatoes from Pachino? You will never forget their very sweet taste. In August, a festival takes place at Marzamemi, a neighboring fishing village of Pachino, in honor of the "red gold", degustation included.




Festa del Grano - Harvest festival

During the harvest festival at Raddusa, folk dances are performed and farm-fresh vegetables and crops are offered for sale.


Sagra del Pistacchio - Pistachio festival

At Bronte, there are about 1,000 pistachio producers, who, on average, cultivate 1 ha of land. The Sagra del Pistacchio di Bronte takes place every year at the end of September and the beginning of October. The festival includes not only a large offer of delicious pistachio products, but also theater performances, music and exhibitions of various craftsmen and artists.

San Vito Lo Capo

Cous Cous festival

The Cous Cous festival takes place every year in September, is one of Sicily's most popular festivals and know far beyond the borders of the island. The festival is an invitation to celebrate together, independent of culture, nationality etc.

There are a lot of different ways of preparing the wholesome semolina and visitors to the festival can taste them all. Feel free to dance in the evening at the Cous Cous Live Show, where the focus is on music.  




Vintage on Mount Etna

When summer draws to an end and days on Sicily are not so hot anymore, vintage in Piedimonte on Mount Etna starts with an exhilarating festival.

Grownups and children dress up and take the harvested fruit in a procession through the town.

Zafferana Etnea

Autumn festival Ottobrata

On the Sundays in October, a colorful buzz of activity fills the streets of the small Etna town and Via Roma turns into a promenade. Visitors get to see the prodotti tipici of the Etna region; craftsmen offer information about traditional and partly ancient Sicilian handicraft. From a culinary point of view, the town is a member of the Slow Food movement.

There are a lot of stands at which you can taste and savor the delicacies on offer. In the evening, the local sports field turns into a stage for rock, pop and jazz.

Palazzolo Acreide

Festa di San Michele Arcangelo

Every year, there is a festival in honor of Archangel Michael at Baroque Palazzolo Acreide.

The highlight "Festival della voce dei piccolo", a procession of the children, aims at drawing attention to the children’s well-being.

Of course, there is also a grandiose procession of Palazzolo’s inhabitants.  
Breathtaking fireworks mark the end of the multi-day festivities.