The Feast of Santa Rosalia in Palermo, one of the most long-awaited events of the year, celebrates its 400th anniversary with an extraordinary festival. This religious and cultural festival, dedicated to Palermo's patron saint, offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the city's rich history and traditions. Whether you are attracted by the allure of the traditional parade of floats or the promise of a unique experience in the Palermo scene, the Festino is a testament to the island's meeting of culture and history, an event that unites the entire city as well as thousands of believers and tourists from around the world in a whirlwind of excitement, faith and tradition

 

 

Palermo is preparing to host a very special edition of the Festino di Santa Rosalia, the city's patron saint. This year, in fact, marks the 400th anniversary of the discovery of her relics, an event that marked the end of the terrible plague epidemic that afflicted the city in 1624. To celebrate this extraordinary anniversary, the Festino program will be even richer and more evocative, with events and initiatives involving the entire city.

A full calendar of entertainment awaits us, including shows, exhibitions, concerts, food and wine tours, conferences and spiritual walks through which the city of Palermo and its territory will be told to visitors.

A multi-voiced narrative that will pay tribute to the priceless cultural, historical and scenic heritage of Palermo, embraced by the sea and protected by Monte Pellegrino, where the Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia, a renowned pilgrimage destination for the faithful, resides. 

The appointment with tradition comes on July 14 with "Il Festino di Santa Rosalia": every year thousands of faithful and visitors arrive from all over the world to take part in the procession that begins its route from the Royal Palace, then stops in front of the Cathedral, crosses the Quattro Canti and reaches Porta Felice where the final show takes place, concluded by the traditional and spectacular fireworks

The next day, July 15, however, is the Solemn Procession along in Cassaro on the day the mortal remains of the Santuzza were found. 

But the most evocative moment of the Feast is held on the night of September 3 to 4: "L'acchianata delle Rosalie": on foot or barefoot, with lifelong friends or family, for the people of Palermo this night means only one thing: acchianata.

As early as 8 a.m. on Sept. 3 and into the night of Sept. 4, devotees set out on a pilgrimage along Monte Pellegrino to the shrine of Santa Rosalia, the city's patron saint. 

A popular-religious rite that has been held for centuries to arrive at the Shrine of Santa Rosalia to share a moment of prayer and celebration.

The story behind the figure of Saint Rosalie

St. Rosalie, born into nobility in 1130, defied expectations. A powerful vision led her to abandon a prearranged marriage and embrace a life dedicated to God. She first sought refuge in a convent, but her yearning for solitude drew her to a remote cave on Mount Quisquina. Her piety attracted followers, but their presence disrupted the quiet contemplation she craved.

Driven by her desire for complete isolation, St. Rosalie relocated to a hidden cave on Mount Pellegrino. There, she spent the rest of her life in devout prayer and penance, earning the reverence of the people who considered her a saint even before her death in 1170.

Centuries later, in 1624, during a devastating plague, St. Rosalie reappeared in a vision, offering salvation in exchange for a proper burial. Her remains were miraculously discovered, and she was officially canonized. St. Rosalie became a central figure of faith for Palermo, particularly during times of health crises, including the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The magnificence of Festino

On the day of the Feast of Santa Rosalia, Palermo is transformed into a riot of faith, tradition and celebration. The streets fill with devout people celebrating their patron saint and taking the opportunity to ask for graces and miracles. The atmosphere is electrifying, with music, songs and colors invading every corner of the city.

At the heart of the festivities stands the magnificent Santa Rosalia float, an allegorical masterpiece towering at an impressive 11 meters tall and adorned with intricate decorations. It is paraded through the streets of Cassaro amidst the vibrant sounds of bands and the lively rhythms of folk groups. Seeing this immense tribute to the patron saint is an experience that moves and fascinates everyone present, who for the occasion are adorned with roses, a symbol of devotion and purity.

In addition to the float, the Festino offers a rich program of events celebrating Palermo's history, culture and traditions. One of the most striking to date has certainly been the video mapping on the Cathedral: a visual telling of the history of the city, the plague and Santa Rosalia through breathtaking images and sounds. A collective work of art created by the talented students of the Academy of Fine Arts of Palermo, it paid tribute to the patron saint in an innovative, engaging and touching way. 

 

Videomapping Santa Rosalia 2022 Palermo

 

The culinary tradition for Santa Rosalia

The Santa Rosalia Festival is a vibrant tapestry of religious devotion, captivating processions and, of course, a symphony of delicious flavors. Deeply rooted in Palermo's rich history and culture, the festival's culinary traditions offer a tantalizing glimpse into the soul of the city. 

At the heart of the festival is a delicious range of street foods and traditional dishes, each with a unique story to tell. 

One of the most popular dishes is Pasta con le Sarde, a pasta with fresh sardines, wild fennel, pine nuts, raisins, and saffron. 

For a taste of Palermo's iconic street food, of course, Sfincione, a thick, fluffy flatbread generously topped with tomatoes, anchovies, grated caciocavallo cheese, and a sprinkling of oregano, but also all the other typical street food delights, such as arancine and panelle, that fuel the festive spirit as you follow the procession through the vibrant streets.

For a touch of freshness, many opt for watermelon: the quintessential summer fruit that offers a refreshing break during the hot July days in Palermo.

 

Beyond the Island's Boundaries

The devotion to St. Rosalia, Palermo's patron saint, extends beyond the island's borders, carried by Sicilian emigration. Here's a glimpse into how her feast is celebrated in the US:

New Orleans (September 4th): The heart of American devotion explodes with a vibrant procession, music, and prayers, culminating in a mass at St. Louis Cathedral.

Chicago (September 15th): A solemn mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, sometimes followed by a procession, honors the saint.

New York (Bensonhurst, late Aug-early Sept): A festive celebration includes a procession, mass, concerts, folk shows, and even a "Cannoli Race" to crown the best pastry chef.

 

The statue of Santa Rosalia at the festival dedicated to the patron saint of Palermo held in Brooklyn (Facebook Photo/Jessica Ann)

 

Devotion to Santa Rosalia, patron saint of Palermo, has also found fertile ground in Spain, thanks to historical and cultural ties between the two nations. Her figure is venerated in several Spanish cities, where her feast day is celebrated with heartfelt devotion and a mix of Sicilian and Spanish traditions.

Seville (September 4th): A mass is held at the Church of San Nicolás de Bari, where a relic of the saint is kept.

Madrid (September 15th): A procession winds through the Lavapiés neighborhood, with a large Sicilian community, culminating in a mass at the Church of San Nicolás de Bari.

Barcelona (September 4th): A solemn mass is celebrated at the Church of Santa María del Mar.

In addition to the solemn masses and processions, some Spanish cities also hold other events in honor of Santa Rosalia, such as concerts, folk shows and food stands. These events are an opportunity for the Sicilian communities of Spain to come together, share their traditions and strengthen ties with their homeland.

 

A unique way to enjoy beautiful Palermo 

Experiencing the Festino di Santa Rosalia in Palermo is an experience beyond imagination. It is a headlong plunge into a sea of faith, tradition and breathtaking beauty. The city is transformed into an enchanting stage, where sacred and profane intertwine in a whirlwind of emotions.

With Absolute Sicilia, this experience becomes even more special. Not only will you have the opportunity to stay in the best luxury resorts in the city, but you will be taken on an authentic journey of discovery, like a true Palermo resident. You will be able to immerse yourself in the evocative atmosphere of the Festino, enjoying every nuance of this unique event.

You will be enraptured by folk songs and dances and savor the delicious flavors of traditional Sicilian cuisine. You'll admire the solemn procession of the Saint, a moment of deep emotion and devotion, and you'll feel an integral part of a community that lives its faith and traditions with great transport.

Experiencing the Festino of Santa Rosalia with Absolute Sicilia means entering the beating heart of Palermo, capturing its truest and most authentic soul. It is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a culture rich in history, charm and spirituality. An experience that will leave an indelible mark on your heart and memories.

Destination Management Companies represent an invaluable resource for making the most of a destination's tourism potential. Equipped with in-depth knowledge and local expertise, these companies have professionals who possess the local knowledge and skills to make the most of the area in tourism.

Let's see what are the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

Can't I organize things myself?
Certainly, you are free to organize things on your own. But imagine having a DMC by your side, kind of like having a local friend who knows every secret nook and cranny and can turn your stay into a unique adventure. In-depth local knowledge and specialized skills that result in finding facilities and places with the closest features to very specific and challenging requirements with always and only one goal: to turn your stays into authentic experiences that would be hard to find without turning to experts.

But who knows the territory better than those who live there?
That's right: almost always DMCs are made up of local professionals who know places, aspects and experiences that most people disregard, but most importantly, they are passionate about travel. It is these experts in the first instance who get to experience and know firsthand the incredible realities and experiences they build for their clients that make the trip unique and unforgettable.

 

And now, the extra benefits

Industry relationships: through specific contacts, you will have access to an established network with the best suppliers and venues, ensuring you get the best services at the best price.

Creativity: there is always a touch of innovation and creativity with DMCs. Not just dreams, but potential realities with a dash of imagination and continuous innovation so you can plan itineraries that are always different and surprising.

Efficiency: streamlined processes for efficient planning and execution thanks to a well-oiled machine that allows DMCs to always be ready to create unforgettable events.

Access to exclusive venues: thanks to deep-rooted ties in communities, DMCs often have access to exclusive venues that can add a unique touch to your event. As true locals, they know the places you can't find on Google and keep you from falling into "tourist traps."

Trust the professionals in the field and make every trip memorable.

 

Dreaming of a wedding that seamlessly blends history, romance, and breathtaking landscapes? Look no further than the captivating island of Sicily, where the echoes of centuries past weave seamlessly with the promise of a beautiful future. A Sicilian wedding is not just an event; it's a journey into the heart of love, surrounded by the timeless allure of historic churches, majestic seventeenth-century villas and vineyards.

Don't miss out on the chance to turn your wedding into a lavish event amid the untouched beauty of Sicily. Read the full article and let the enchantment of Sicilian luxury weddings inspire your journey toward an unforgettable celebration! 

 

Fonte fotografica: The sicilian Villa Company - Exclusive Italy Weddings - Sicily Lifestyle

The Allure of a Sicilian wedding

Sicily, with its sun-kissed landscapes, azure waters, and rich cultural tapestry, emerges as an idyllic destination for couples seeking a wedding experience like no otherThe island's romantic charm is deeply rooted in its history, evident in every cobblestone street and ancient monument. A Sicilian wedding is a celebration that transcends time, where the old-world charm meets modern elegance, creating an atmosphere that is truly enchanting.

Palermo, Catania, and Ragusa stand as beacons of Sicily's rich cultural tapestry, each boasting historic churches that narrate stories of love and devotion. 

In Palermo, the iconic Cathedral, with its mesmerizing blend of Norman, Gothic, and Moorish architecture, offers a grandiose setting for couples seeking a sacred union. Casa Professa, an architectural masterpiece, presents a Baroque jewel where intricate details and artistic splendor converge to create a romantic ambiance.

San Giuseppe dei Teatini, another gem in Palermo, showcases the opulence of the Sicilian Baroque style, providing a captivating backdrop for couples exchanging vows. 

For those yearning for an elevated experience, the Cathedral of Monreale, with its stunning mosaics and panoramic views, stands as a testament to the grandeur of Sicily's religious architecture. Meanwhile, the Cappella Palatina within the Palazzo dei Normanni exudes unparalleled beauty, combining Norman, Arab, and Byzantine influences in a truly unique setting.

Catania, graced by the imposing presence of the Cathedral of Sant'Agata, invites couples to exchange vows amidst Baroque splendor, a testament to the city's architectural prowess. Meanwhile, Ragusa's Cathedral of San Giorgio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, presents a stunning backdrop where history and romance converge, creating an atmosphere of timeless elegance.

These historic churches collectively paint a picture of Sicily's diverse architectural heritage. Whether you choose the bustling streets of Palermo, the historic charm of Catania, or the UNESCO-listed splendor of Ragusa, Sicily's historic churches add an extra layer of significance to the promise of forever. A Sicilian wedding, set against this backdrop, becomes a celebration not just of love but also of the island's rich cultural legacy.

 

Fonte fotografica: La lista

Magical Sicilian venues: the most beautiful historic locations 

One of the highlights of tying the knot in Sicily is the plethora of magical venues that serve as the perfect backdrop for your special day. Imagine exchanging vows in a centuries-old church, its ornate architecture and historic ambiance adding a sense of grandeur to your ceremony. Alternatively, opt for a villa from the seventeenth century, surrounded by lush gardens and offering panoramic views of the Mediterranean. These venues not only encapsulate the romance of a Sicilian wedding but also provide an authentic experience that will linger in the memories of both the couple and their guests.

A world of refined elegance and historical splendor. For those seeking a different but equally magical setting, Sicily boasts an array of stunning villas that encapsulate the island's allure.

Villa Bosco Grande

Nestled amidst the verdant landscapes of Sicily, Villa Bosco Grande stands as a testament to luxury and tranquility. This meticulously restored villa, with its lush gardens and panoramic views, provides an idyllic setting for an intimate and romantic celebration. Couples can immerse themselves in the serenity of the countryside while still enjoying the sophistication of a bygone era.

Castello Lanza

Perched atop a hill with commanding views of the Sicilian landscape, Castello Lanza stands as a majestic fortress steeped in history. This medieval castle provides an extraordinary backdrop for couples who wish to exchange vows in a setting that exudes regality and romance. The castle's unique ambiance adds an unforgettable touch to the wedding, creating a day that feels like a fairytale come to life.

Tonnara di Scopello

For those seeking a coastal haven steeped in history, Tonnara di Scopello offers a unique blend of rustic charm and seaside allure. This ancient tuna fishery, with its stone buildings and turquoise waters, provides a picturesque setting for a romantic celebration. Couples can exchange vows against the backdrop of the Mediterranean, ensuring a wedding that is both intimate and breathtaking.

Tonnara dell'Orsa

For those desiring a waterfront celebration, Tonnara dell'Orsa presents an unparalleled setting along the Sicilian coast. This historic tuna fishery, converted into a refined venue, combines the beauty of the sea with the charm of Sicilian tradition. The result is a wedding celebration that unfolds against the backdrop of the sparkling Mediterranean, creating memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Villa Fago

Adding to the several enchanting venues, Villa Fago emerges as a hidden gem where modern luxury meets the timeless beauty of Sicilian landscapes. This exclusive villa, surrounded by lush gardens and boasting panoramic views, provides an intimate and personalized setting for couples seeking a romantic and unforgettable wedding experience. With its attention to detail and exquisite surroundings, Villa Fago promises to elevate the magic of a Sicilian wedding to new heights, ensuring that every moment is steeped in romance and splendor.

Villa Malfitano Whitaker

Stepping into the realm of aristocratic elegance, Villa Malfitano Whitaker stands as a testament to Sicily's opulent past. The villa's sprawling gardens, adorned with exotic plants and sculptures, create an atmosphere of refined charm. Choosing this venue allows couples to immerse themselves in the grandeur of a bygone era, turning their wedding into a sophisticated event reminiscent of Sicilian nobility.

Villa Ramacca

For those captivated by the charm of historical residences, Villa Ramacca offers a splendid blend of Sicilian tradition and modern comfort. The villa, surrounded by citrus groves and Mediterranean flora, radiates timeless elegance. Its picturesque setting is perfect for couples desiring a celebration that seamlessly fuses sophistication with natural beauty.

Palazzo Alliata di Pietratagliata

Transporting couples to the heart of Palermo's historic center, Palazzo Alliata di Pietratagliata is a baroque masterpiece that whispers tales of Sicily's aristocratic past. With its opulent interiors and grand courtyards, this palazzo offers an extravagant setting for an urban wedding that exudes opulence and sophistication.

Villa La Limonaia

Situated in the charming town of Taormina, Villa La Limonaia is a true gem overlooking the Ionian Sea. The villa's lush gardens adorned with citrus trees and vibrant flowers create a romantic atmosphere, making it an ideal venue for couples seeking a serene yet luxurious celebration.

In choosing one of these exquisite venues, couples can ensure that their Sicilian wedding becomes not just a moment in time but an experience that etches itself into the very fabric of their love story.

 

Luxury wedding: 6 unique Sicilian venues 

For couples envisioning a wedding immersed in opulence amidst the serene beauty of Sicily's vineyards and unspoiled landscapes, the island offers a selection of exceptional venues that redefine luxury celebrations.

Susafa

Nestled in the heart of the Madonie Mountains, Susafa presents an exclusive escape for couples seeking a luxury wedding surrounded by lush vineyards and rolling hills. The estate's rustic charm, combined with its dedication to personalized service, sets the stage for an intimate celebration where every detail is curated to perfection. A Susafa wedding is a harmonious blend of sophistication and nature, promising an unforgettable experience for couples and their guests.

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

Perched on the cliffs of Taormina with breathtaking views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea, the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo stands as an iconic venue for luxury weddings. With its historic charm, opulent interiors, and world-class service, this hotel provides an exquisite backdrop for couples desiring a celebration that seamlessly fuses timeless elegance with Sicily's natural wonders.

Tenuta Savoca

Amidst the enchanting landscape of Savoca, Tenuta Savoca offers an intimate setting for couples who wish to exchange vows surrounded by vineyards and panoramic views. The venue's commitment to sustainability adds an eco-conscious touch to a luxurious celebration, creating an ambiance where romance intertwines with the authenticity of Sicilian terroir.

Capofaro Malvasia & Resort

Situated on the enchanting island of Salina, Capofaro Malvasia & Resort is a haven of luxury amidst the vineyards. This boutique resort, with its whitewashed architecture and unparalleled views of the sea, provides an idyllic setting for a wedding that embraces both sophistication and the untouched beauty of nature. A Capofaro wedding promises an intimate escape where love blossoms against the backdrop of the Mediterranean sunset.

Donna Carmela

Immersed in the Sicilian countryside near Mount Etna, Donna Carmela exudes elegance and tranquility. Surrounded by citrus groves and vineyards, this boutique hotel offers an exclusive retreat for couples seeking a luxurious wedding experience. Donna Carmela's commitment to the highest standards of hospitality ensures that every moment of the celebration is marked by refinement and grace.

La Foresteria Planeta Estate

Amidst the vineyards of the Planeta Estate, La Foresteria stands as a testament to the union of gastronomy, wine, and romance. This resort, dedicated to the celebration of Sicilian flavors, offers a luxurious retreat for couples seeking a wedding that indulges the senses. With its scenic vineyard views and culinary excellence, La Foresteria promises an unmatched experience where the celebration of love is intertwined with the essence of Sicilian terroir.

Choosing one of these exceptional venues for a luxury wedding in Sicily ensures not only an opulent celebration but also an immersion into the authentic beauty and rich cultural heritage of this captivating island.

A Sicilian wedding is a journey into love, history, and natural beauty. The island's enchanting allure, coupled with the choice of magical venues, makes it a destination that transcends the ordinary. Saying "I do" in Sicily is not just a ceremony; it's an immersion into the timeless romance of an island where the past and the present coalesce, creating an unforgettable tapestry of love.

 

 

Sicily, with its rich culture, history, and natural beauty, has long been a source of inspiration for filmmakers and TV producers. Its idyllic villages, bustling markets, and historic landmarks provide the perfect backdrop for a myriad of stories - stories that can transport us to this enchanting Mediterranean island, even from the comfort of our living rooms. Here, we unravel five cinematic gems - movies and TV series that not only entertain but also offer a captivating lens into Sicily’s soul, inspiring your next journey to this Italian paradise.

Sicilian cinema and its impact on Italian and international cinema

Sicilian cinema has had a profound influence on both Italian and international film industries. Rooted in the island's rich history, cultural traditions, and breathtaking landscapes, Sicilian cinema has brought forward unique narratives and aesthetic sensibilities that have resonated with audiences worldwide. Renowned directors such as Giuseppe Tornatore and Luca Guadagnino, and celebrated actors like Al Pacino, whose parents were both from Sicily, have played significant roles in shaping the portrayal of Sicily and its culture on the global stage. This vibrant industry continues to inspire and captivate, contributing significantly to the world's cinematic landscape.

Let’s check together some of the most famous movies about Sicily.

Divorce Italian Style (1961)

"Divorce Italian Style" is a dark comedy directed by Pietro Germi. This film offers a satirical glimpse into Sicilian life in the 1960s, focusing on an impoverished Sicilian nobleman who hatches a macabre plan to get out of his marriage. Shot in the baroque town of Ispica, this classic Italian film offers an evocative portrayal of Sicilian social mores and traditions, while also showcasing the region's stunning architecture and landscapes. Its rich blend of comedy, drama, and cultural commentary will surely inspire a deeper exploration of Sicilian culture on your trip.

The Godfather Trilogy (1972, 1974, 1990)

Francis Ford Coppola's epic trilogy, "The Godfather," needs no introduction. These films, embedded in the consciousness of popular culture, vividly portray the life of a Sicilian-American Mafia family. Beyond the intricate plot, they showcase stunning Sicilian settings. The scenes shot in the town of Savoca, with its rustic charm and panoramic views, and the grandiose Baroque architecture of Palermo, will entice you to explore these locations in person and walk in the footsteps of the Corleones in a Godfather Tour.

Inspector Montalbano (1999 - ongoing)

Based on Andrea Camilleri's novels, "Inspector Montalbano" is a crime drama series that offers a fascinating blend of suspense, humor, and Sicilian charm. The titular character's investigations take viewers on a scenic journey across the southeastern part of the island. The historic town of Ragusa, with its Baroque buildings and sun-drenched streets, serves as the series' primary location. The delectable Sicilian dishes featured in the series might also inspire some culinary adventures during your trip.

Cinema Paradiso (1988)

No list of films about Sicily would be complete without Giuseppe Tornatore's Academy Award-winning masterpiece, “Cinema Paradiso." Set in the fictional town of Giancaldo, this heartwarming tale of friendship, love, and cinema, is a beautiful tribute to post-World War II Sicily. The movie's enchanting Sicilian landscapes, from charming piazzas to azure seas, serve as a testament to the island's innate beauty and will undoubtedly stir up a desire to experience the same vistas.

Malèna (2000)

Another Giuseppe Tornatore’s cinematic spectacle, "Malèna", portrays the life of a beautiful war widow in a small Sicilian town during World War II. The movie is not just a poignant narrative of longing and innocence but a visual love letter to Sicily. The captivating scenes, filmed in the idyllic coastal town of Syracuse and the bustling city of Messina, beautifully depict Sicily's timeless charm and might lead you to these stunning locales.

Movies and TV series have the incredible ability to transport us to different worlds, ignite our imaginations, and inspire us to explore new places. These cinematic creations, each deeply connected to Sicily, offer a vivid taste of the island’s rich history, distinctive culture, and captivating landscapes. They illustrate the magic that awaits in Sicily, inviting you to experience the island's charm firsthand. So, as you plan your next Sicilian adventure, let these films and TV series be your guide, stirring your wanderlust and leading you to the captivating corners of this Mediterranean jewel.
After all, in the words of Cinema Paradiso’s Alfredo, “Life isn't like in the movies. Life is much harder.” But, fortunately, choosing your next travel destination doesn’t have to be.

On the trail of Il Postino

Il Postino, Massimo Troisi's testament film made in 1994 shortly before his untimely death, is now one of the classics of Italian cinema. Masterfully directed by Michael Radford and inspired by the novel Il Postino di Neruda (Neruda's Postman) by Chilean writer Antonio Skármeta, it tells the story of Mario Ruoppolo, a humble postman who is entrusted with the daily task of delivering mail to the famous Pablo Neruda.

This extraordinary feature film continues to captivate audiences with its delicate dialogue and evocative settings. Although set mainly in Campania, the famous 'pink house' that houses the famous poet in the film is actually located in Sicily: more precisely in Salina, one of the enchanting Aeolian Islands.

Why Salina?

Salina is a fascinating island because of its combination of breathtaking landscapes, the authenticity of its villages and its lush nature. The coastline is characterised by its natural and wild beauty, with picturesque bays and hidden coves that invite moments of relaxation and contemplation. Among the most beautiful coastlines, the black beach of Rinella stands out, adding that extra touch to an island that is already a paradise in itself.

Salina is also rich in charming villages, such as those of Lingua and Rinella, which still retain an authentic atmosphere and local traditions. The 19th-century dwellings in the main harbour of Santa Marina and the picturesque streets of Malfa attract visitors in search of authenticity. But it is in the village of Pollara that Mario Ruoppolo used to ride his bike to reach Neruda on the beach. 

And it is precisely those charming little stone houses that have witnessed countless magnificent sunsets, enveloped in an evocative and romantic atmosphere. And following the winding tufa steps to the Balate, it is still possible to visit the ancient fishermen's boat shelters carved into the rock of the cliff.

The Aeolian Islands: a volcanic paradise in the Tyrrhenian Sea

But Salina is not the only Aeolian Island worth visiting, even by bicycle! Between Vulcano, Stromboli, Lipari, Alicudi, Filicudi and Panarea there are many destinations to discover, especially in summer. Located off the north-east coast of Sicily, these islands are a true jewel in the Tyrrhenian Sea; a volcanic archipelago of seven main islands, dotted with numerous wild islets.

Each Aeolian island has its own personality and spectacular natural landscape. For example, Vulcano, with its thermal springs and characteristic smoking crater, offers a sense of mystery and adventure. Lipari, the main island, welcomes visitors with its beautiful beaches and its typical historic centre enlivened by the many traditional taverns. Stromboli, with its active volcano, offers a unique spectacle especially at sunset, when you can admire the lava erupting in the starry sky. Alicudi and Filicudi, two gems of the Aeolian archipelago that reveal wild landscapes, unspoilt authenticity and breathtaking beauty. And finally Panarea: the smallest island of them all, but also the most mundane.

Explore the enchantment of the Aeolian Islands with our tailor-made travel package

The atmosphere on each of the islands is one of freedom, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here, time seems to pass more slowly, offering you the chance to relax, rejuvenate and immerse yourself in the unspoilt beauty that surrounds you. Exploring the islands on foot, by boat or by bicycle, you will discover hidden corners, secret bays and spectacular views.

If you want to have an authentic experience that will make you leave satisfied, with Absolute Sicilia you can do it. We will take you around the Aeolian Islands and give you an unparalleled experience. Visit our Experience section to learn more about this memorable tour: “Paradise in the Aeolian Islands”.

Sicily: the mother of jazz

Jazz, a timeless music of rebellion, improvisation and happiness that still makes people dream with its sound full of history and appeal. It is well known that its birth was shaped by the fusion of songs sung by slaves imported to the United States. Yet, there are those who do not think so; in fact, according to Claudio Lo Cascio, a Palermo jazz pioneer, jazz was invented in Sicily, by the Sicilian Nick La Rocca. In 1917, Nick and his 'Original Dixieland Jazz Band' crossed the ocean to the United States to record the world's first jazz album.

The Brass Group and Jazz Culture in Palermo

Sicily, with its magical fusion of history, culture and emotions, offers a unique experience to those who visit it for the first time. In addition to culinary traditions and historical heritage, this land also vibrates with a fervent passion for art, in all its forms. And among these artistic expressions, music shines with a special charm.

It is not uncommon to enter a club and sip a glass of wine to the rhythm of jazz, a style deeply rooted and felt in these places. This Sicilian passion gave rise to the Brass Group, the jazz equivalent of the Amici della Musica for classical music, founded in 1974 by Ignazio Garsia as a brass band. The famous Sicilian Jazz Orchestra is one of Italy's largest organisations specialising in the production of jazz music, famous for collaborating with renowned conductors and internationally renowned soloists. In over 3,000 concerts, it has had the honour of hosting jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra, helping to make Palermo a true European jazz capital.

It was only in 2021 that the Brass Group founded the increasingly popular Sicilia Jazz Festival, one of the most important Italian events dedicated to this expressive and energetic musical genre.

Sicilia Jazz Festival

The all-Palermitan jazz festival is now a fixed appointment for the city and a point of reference for lovers of  this genre throughout the region.

Born as an evolution of the Palermo Pop festival of the 1970s, the Sicilia Jazz Festival is committed to bringing this style of music back to the island after 30 years of silence. Its aim is to promote and spread jazz in Sicily, offering the public high-quality concerts with renowned national and international artists. Over the years, the biggest names in jazz have filled the city's most beautiful stages, hosting some of the biggest names in jazz, including Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett and many others.
One of the key points of the festival is to immerse jazz in evocative historical and cultural contexts in Palermo, offering lovers of this musical genre an even more evocative experience. This is why the shows come to life in some of the city's most evocative historical venues, including the Teatro di Verdura, the Sant'Anna Monumental Complex, the evocative Santa Maria dello Spasimo Monumental Complex, and the Real Teatro Santa Cecilia, as well as the headquarter of the Brass Group.

Thanks to its prestige and success story, the Sicilia Jazz Festival has helped consolidate Palermo and its venues as a place of great importance on the jazz scene, attracting fans and musicians from all over the world. The festival continues to play a significant role in the promotion and enhancement of jazz in Sicily, as well as of the island itself, proving to be an unmissable event for lovers of this timeless musical genre.

A Sicilian summer to the rhythm of jazz

Once again this year, Palermo becomes the theatre of great performances in honour of jazz. In fact, another extraordinary edition of the Sicilia Jazz Festival is about to begin. From 23 June to 2 July, the Brass Group will enchant spectators with an exceptional programme boasting the presence of big names such as Gregory Porter, Marcus Miller, Anastacia and many others, offering original productions and world premieres. More than 100 concerts  will be held at suggestive historical venues in Palermo, including the Teatro di Verdura, the Santa Cecilia theatre and the Spasimo.

It is a unique experience, completely dedicated to orchestral production, with the Sicilian Jazz Orchestra as the undisputed protagonist. An event promoted by the Sicilian Region, in collaboration with the City Council, the University of Palermo and the region's music conservatories.

Come and live a unique and immersive experience in Sicily, discovering the artistic and melodious soul of this extraordinary land. Explore places sacred to art, let yourself be carried away by the captivating rhythm of jazz, and immerse yourself in a new and fascinating perspective. Don't miss the opportunity to get to see Sicily's most evocative cultural scenarios and discover the charm of this land. With Absolute Sicilia, plan an unforgettable journey through art, music and all that this island has to offer.

Taormina, the pearl of Sicily, has been winking at the international market and luxury for years. This enchanting seaside resort has become a reference point in the world of high fashion and glamour, perfect for those looking for a chic and exclusive holiday.
It was Bernard Arnault, the French magnate who heads the LVMH - Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton group, now synonymous with elegance and sophistication, who took notice.

The owner of more than 75 high-end brands, Arnault revealed his interest in Taormina back in 2018, acquiring two famous five-star hotels: Villa Sant'Andrea and Timeo Belmond. To this list is added the Four Seasons San Domenico Palace, the location of the second season of the HBO series "The White Lotus", as well as the 2012 show of the iconic Dolce and Gabbana high fashion show. It was this attraction to the Dolce Vita that prompted Arnault, once again, to open a Dior boutique in the Sicilian city in 2022, with unprecedented success.

The chic destination of the stars

It is no coincidence that Taormina has always attracted famous personalities and many celebrities over the years. From Oscar Wilde to Goethe, from Greta Garbo to Ingrid Bergman, there are many names that have walked the picturesque streets of this charming town. The highlight of the place is the Teatro Antico, which for years hosted the prestigious Nastro d'Argento, one of the most important awards in Italian cinema.

For the occasion, many international stars like Harrison Ford and Johnny Depp have enjoyed the marvellous spectacle between sky and sea that this place continues to offer.

Taormina: Sicily's Must-Visit Hotspot 2023

Also in 2023 Taormina is confirmed as one of the most popular destinations of the year. Your must-have trip this summer has been thought through down to the last detail to give you a luxury experience that leaves its mark. During the Tour of Taormina organised by Absolute Sicilia, you will explore this splendid jewel on foot with a private guide, admiring the flower-filled balconies, picturesque corners and breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea surrounding Isola Bella. You will visit the famous Greek Theatre with Mount Etna in the background, and experience the enchantment of Taormina on board a vintage Ape Calesse.

You will stroll through all those places frequented by illustrious personalities, such as Casa Cuseni and the gardens of Villa Caronia. All to fully savour the magic of Taormina and the evocative atmosphere of this unique destination. What better occasion to live a dream?

Echoes of expertise

But Taormina is only one pearl of the great treasure that Sicily has to offer its visitors. This Mediterranean island fascinates with its millennial history, rich culture and extraordinary natural beauty. And the expert, tour guide Franco D'angelo, tells us so. Sicily offers a warm welcome to anyone eager to discover the beauty and richness of this territory.

Inspired by the love of the French for their land, this has led him to spread his love for Sicilian culture and become a passionate tour guide. On his tours, each place is enriched by his many tales that touch on the history, art, scents and unique flavours of Sicily. 'Today, more than before, I believe that a trip to Sicily is not just an ordinary holiday, but above all an experience and an enrichment,' D'Angelo concludes.
A trip to Sicily thus becomes an enriching experience and allows one to immerse oneself in the thousand nuances of a culture that has always been open to the world.

Book your next fairytale trip

There is so much to see in Sicily, a place full of wonders to explore. However, you have to start somewhere, and why not start your adventure right from Taormina? This year could be the perfect opportunity to discover all that this extraordinary destination has to offer.
With Absolute Sicilia, you can make your dream journey come true and discover the enchanting places of this marvellous island.

Click here to find out more about the Tour of Taormina 

'There is no flavour without knowledge,' says Arturo Morettino, the founder of the 100% Sicilian artisanal coffee company of the homonymous name.

Love for coffee in the middle of Palermo

In the heart of Palermo, among the streets enveloped in an enchanting atmosphere, there is a place that guards the secrets of true Sicilian coffee. We are talking about the small artisan company Morettino, which has been dedicated to the creation of high quality coffee blends since 1920. Still today, with Andrea and Arturo Morettino the passion for coffee is reflected in the care with which it selects the best raw materials from around the world, but its true mission has gone much further. Morettino embraces sustainability, innovation and the quest for the highest quality, creating an ethical, healthy and eco-friendly product.

Morettino’s experimental plantation

True coffee lovers arriving on Sicilian soil cannot fail to visit Morettino's experimental plantation. An evocative place where passion for coffee merges with love for nature. Here, the producer family has dedicated more than 30 years to experimenting with new techniques of coffee cultivation and processing, creating a unique and original variety of an authentic Sicilian coffee, grown and harvested by hand in the plantation's gardens.

The experimental plantation is a surprising discovery of the local culture, where the art of coffee cultivation blends perfectly with respect for nature and local communities. Walking among the coffee plants, the care and attention devoted to their cultivation stands out; only here can one learn the secrets of coffee processing from bean to cup. But that's not all: this unique experience represents a true immersion in Sicilian culture, amidst intense aromas, evocative landscapes and a contagious passion for excellent product.

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If you are looking for an unforgettable holiday and a unique taste experience, Sicily is the ideal place for you. With Absolute Sicilia you can visit the wonderful Sicilian territories, visit Palermo and immerse yourself in its fascinating beauty. And once here, sit at the tables of one of the many open-air cafés to slowly enjoy an authentic Sicilian coffee and finally visit the places that have made its history. Don't miss the opportunity to bring back home the genuine taste of Sicily.
Start planning your trip!

Postcards from Italy, be inspired by the 5 best Sicilian villages

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is renowned for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes. The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, but not everyone knows that Sicily is also dotted with picturesque villages that seem to have leaped straight from the pages of a storybook. In this article, we'll take you on a journey through five of the best Sicilian villages, where you can experience the essence of Sicilian life.

Marzamemi

Marzamemi, a small fishing village on the southeastern coast of Sicily, is a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. The village's historic center, with its colorful fishermen's houses and narrow streets, transports visitors to a bygone era. Here, you can indulge in the fresh seafood delicacies that the village is famous for; the picturesque Piazza Regina Margherita, surrounded by charming cafés and shops, is the perfect spot to unwind and soak in the Mediterranean sun.

Sambuca di Sicilia

Nestled among the rolling hills of southwestern Sicily, Sambuca di Sicilia is a village of Arab origin with a fascinating history. Its winding streets, lined with Baroque and Arab-Norman architecture, are perfect for leisurely strolls. Sambuca di Sicilia is known for its vibrant artisanal scene, with numerous galleries and workshops showcasing local artisans' work. Be sure to visit the Belvedere Terrace, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and Lake Arancio.

Montalbano Elicona

Montalbano Elicona, perched on a hilltop in the province of Messina, is a village steeped in history and legends. The village's crowning glory is its medieval castle, the Castello di Montalbano Elicona, which once served as a residence for the royal family of Aragon. Wander through the labyrinth of cobblestone streets, and you'll come across fascinating architectural gems, such as the Church of Santa Caterina. The surrounding countryside, with its dense woods and meandering rivers, is ideal for hiking and nature walks.

Castiglione di Sicilia

Located in the heart of the Alcantara Valley, Castiglione di Sicilia is a village with a rich wine-making tradition. The village is characterized by its well-preserved medieval architecture and stunning views of Mount Etna, Europe's highest and most active volcano. Explore the narrow streets, visit the Church of San Pietro e Paolo, and stop at a local winery to savor some of Sicily's finest wines. The nearby Alcantara Gorge, with its basaltic rock formations and crystal-clear waters, is a must-visit natural wonder.

Petralia Soprana

Petralia Soprana, one of the highest villages in the Madonie Mountains, offers unparalleled views of the Sicilian landscape. The village is characterized by its narrow streets, ancient stone houses, and many churches. Take a walk along the village's streets, and you'll come across the Church of Santa Maria di Loreto and the beautiful Piazza del Popolo. For nature lovers, the nearby Madonie Regional Natural Park provides ample opportunities for hiking and wildlife spotting.

These five Sicilian villages, each with its own unique charm and allure, offer a glimpse into the heart and soul of Sicily. From the sun-kissed shores of Marzamemi to the misty heights of Petralia Soprana, these villages showcase the island's diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. As you explore their cobblestone streets, sample local delicacies, and immerse yourself in their traditions, you'll undoubtedly be captivated by the magic of Sicily.
So, whether you're planning your next vacation or simply daydreaming about far-off lands, let these postcards from Italy transport you to a world of beauty, enchantment, and wonder. With each village offering a unique and unforgettable experience, there's no better time to discover the charms of Sicily and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Oleato, the olive oil coffee brew is a Sicilian story of success

A tour of Sicily can be an unforgettable experience. The unspoilt nature of the island is fascinating, but the success stories of its cities are even more surprising. One such story stems from a trip to this fascinating island full of surprising influences. During his holiday, cheered by the sea breeze and the typical scents of Trinacria, Starbucks CEO Howard Schults had a vision: a coffee blend with olive oil

And here is the first Sicilian success story.

'Oleato' is an amazing Arabica blend, enriched with a touch of extra virgin olive oil from the Sicilian countryside. This high quality oil is the fruit of the passion and hard work of the Asaro family, who have been cultivating their passion for four generations.

Asaro is a modern company, but one that continues to use ancient processing techniques. The result is a high quality product that continues to fill Italian tables today.

To this day, Tommaso Asaro produces oil from Nocellara olives from the Belice Valley in his 150 acres of land. His aim has always been to modernize production techniques while respecting them. And from his love for the land comes a product of high value, recognised even abroad

The encounter between Asaro's Sicilianity and Starbucks' American attitude has created a line of drinks that includes different blends to satisfy all palates. The preview presentation took place at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan, as well as in some Starbucks shops in Italy. In the coming months, different types will be introduced in selected markets around the world, such as the US and Japan.

Sicily is a place of extraordinary beauty and full of potential, where small businesses grow fast with the availability of quality raw materials. The island is home to a multitude of opportunities and in addition to proving to be a safe home for various entrepreneurial activities, it also finds its workhorse in tourism. The various cultural and scenic sites intertwine with each other, leaving the traveller with an indelible memory. 

To experience this wide-angle adventure, visit our experiences section; discover the anecdotes of this island and start dreaming even before your arrival.

 

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