History of Syracuse’s traditional feast of Saint Lucia

Every year on the 13th and 20th of December in Syracuse, on the south-eastern coast of Sicily, a splendid feast is held to celebrate Saint Lucia, the Syracuse-born patron saint of the city.

Saint Lucia’s cult is deeply felt; therefore, Syracuse dresses up and gets ready to welcome a large number of believers, even from very far away.

Other than in December, the Martyr is also celebrated in May, precisely on the first two Sundays of the month, with what is commonly known as the Feast of Saint Lucia delle Quaglie (meaning Saint Lucia of Quails).

Would you like to know more details about this cult? Here is some information on the history of Saint Lucia and her feast.

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Sicily, myths and legends: selection of the most famous tales

A fascinating and mysterious land, Sicily has also been the setting of numerous myths and legends over the centuries, many of which are still passed down today. 

Being the crossroads of different populations and cultures, this region has inherited an immense mythological heritage from each domination it experienced.

From this point of view, the most important contribution was undoubtedly left by the Greeks, even though there is no lack of stories left by other populations who later conquered Sicily.

Here are some of the most evocative tales set in this magic land: enjoy the read!

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Eating in Catania: typical dishes of the Catania tradition

Located on Sicily’s east coast, enclosed between the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea and the majestic Etna, Catania is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating cities of the entire island.

In addition to having an artistic, historical and natural heritage of huge importance, Catania also offers a wide variety of choices in terms of food, it will really please anyone!

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Discovering Ragusa, the pearl of Sicilian Baroque

The magnificent Ragusa stands among the Hyblaean Mountains, in the south east of Sicily.

Third Sicilian municipality by extension, this city is also the southernmost provincial capital of Italy.

Highest expression of Sicilian Baroque in the heart of the famous Val di Noto, Ragusa is also known as the “city of bridges“, due to the presence of three famous bridges: the Ponte dei Cappuccini or Ponte Vecchio(Old Bridge), the Ponte Nuovo (New Bridge) and the Ponte Giovanni XXIII or Ponte San Vito.

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Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo: the wonderful Aegadian Archipelago

The Aegadian Islands are a wonderful archipelago, nestled in the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and located about ten kilometres off the west coast of Sicily, not far from Trapani.

Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo are the three main islands, to which other islets are added.

This archipelago is by no doubt an ideal destination for sea, snorkelling, sailing and hiking lovers. Their virgin nature and great variety of flora and fauna make these islands a real earthly paradise.

Would you like to get to know this enchanting place better? Here is some information you may find useful!

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Arancino or arancina? The recipe!

Is it called arancino or arancina? Answering this long-standing question is not easy and the gender of this Sicilian delicacy’s name, a delicious fried rice ball, splits the island in two: the western side, in fact, uses the feminine noun, arancina, while the masculine noun is used in the eastern side, therefore arancino.

The Crusca Academy, the most important research institution of the Italian language, has also tried to answer this dilemma: according to the Crusca, this flavourful rice ball owes its name to its resemblance with an orange tree fruit, therefore the orange (arancia in Italian, while the orange tree is arancio).

So, in conclusion, it seems that the correct form is the feminine, arancina, even though in reality the question is not completely resolved. The gender distinction between tree and fruit in standard Italian dates back to the second half of the 20th century, yet today among speakers, in many cases, the fruit is also indicated with the masculine form: subsequently, arancino could mean “small orange”, referring to the fruit instead of the tree.

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The natural beauty of the Alcantara Valley

Do you enjoy trails, long walks and adventurous sports while totally immersed in pure and virgin nature?

Then the spectacular, extraordinary and mammoth Alcantara Gorges, also known as the Larderia Gorges, are definitely for you! This scenery of breath-taking beauty, which also includes waterfalls, beaches and lakes, is located in the province of Messina, in the Alcantara Valley, between the towns of Castiglione di Sicilia and Motta Camastra.

In 2010, these gorges were awarded the prestigious European Destination of Excellence award.

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The Carnival of Acireale, the most beautiful Carnival in Sicily

What is considered the most beautiful Carnival in Sicily takes place every year in Acireale.

Here, absolutely grotesque carnival floats, masks, shows, confetti and flowers flood the streets of the city during one of the most colourful and folkloric events on the entire island!

The city of Acireale, a magnificent example of Sicilian Baroque, thus becomes the scene of parades, exhibitions and concerts: an extraordinary event that you absolutely cannot miss while in Sicily during the Carnival period!

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Sfincione Palermitano Recipe

The sfincione is one of the cornerstones of Sicilian street food, a recipe that brings together the typical ingredients and flavors of Sicily: a soft focaccia topped with tomato sauce and onions, caciocavallo cheese and anchovies, to which it’s impossible to resist.

Of course there are many variations on this delicacy, such as Ficarazzi, Catania or Bagheria’s sfincione, or even a sweet versions consisting of a leavened and fried dough (sfince), but the recipe from Palermo is the most renowned, thanks to the famous street food tradition so dear to the Sicilian capital.sfince), but the recipe from Palermo is the most renowned, thanks to the famous street food tradition so dear to the Sicilian capital.

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Palermo in a weekend: all-you-must-see!

A trip to Sicily does not only mean sun and sea; beyond famous summer destinations the island offers countless and interesting travel opportunities and thanks to the growing popularity of low-cost airlines, leaving for a weekend has never been easier.

Palermo, the Sicilian capital, is undoubtedly an ideal destination for a short getaway of art, history and good food.Particularly known as the centre of Sicilian street food, Palermo boasts influences from various populations passed through here over the centuries. The legacy they left can be found in several sides of the city, from architecture to dialect, cuisine and traditions. Let’s discover together the treasures to explore in the Sicilian capital.

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