Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Viva San Giorgio!

Buona sera amici. I would like to start this new blog post by sending my thoughts and prayers out to those affected by the tragic earthquake that struck Emilia Romagna yesterday. To suffer again only ten days after the last earthquake hit the region is terrible and I am sure that you all join me in sending out our sincere condolences to the families of the victims.

On the last Sunday in May every year there is a spectacular feast day held in Ragusa dedicated to the Patron Saint of Ragusa Ibla - St. George or San Giorgio. This year it will actually be held on the 3rd June but the celebrations last across the whole weekend.

The Cathedral of San Giorgio is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture and is characterised by its ornate facade featuring 250 steps and enormous intricate columns. Each evening throughout the celebrations this Cathedral, or Duomo, will be spectacularly lit up and in the Piazza Duomo there will be live events and music bands.

On the Sunday of the 'festa', the statue of San Giorgio, which was sculpted by the Palermitan Rosario Bagnasco in the second half of the 19th century, is paraded through the streets of Ragusa Ibla on the shoulders of devotees. This is followed by a marching band and hundreds of the town's residents and Sicilians who come to Ragusa for the celebrations. When the procession is over, there is a spectacular firework display in the Piazza Duomo which is famous for its elaborate exhibition and magnificent colours that light up the night.

If you won't make it to these wonderful celebrations, take a look at the beautiful video below to see what it is that attracts devotees from across the island -

You can read more about Ragusa on my website -

A presto, amici!


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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Baroque Noto in Bloom

Buongiorno a tutti! I hope that you are all well and that you acted upon my previous blog post's advice to indulge in a Spring Sicilian 'scampagnata'! Today I want to talk about the Infiorata di Noto which is due to take place from the 18th to the 21st of May in the Siracusan town of Noto. This is a beautiful flower festival which takes place each year on the third Sunday of May.

On the Friday of the festival, artists start to create their own individual work of art with flower petals, organic seeds and a special kind of soil. These pieces all come together to create a beautiful flower scene stretching all of the way along the Via Corrado Nicolaci. The stunning effect is almost like a stained glass window and leads up to Chiesa di Montevergini which is also worth a visit to see its beautiful ornate marble altar and concave facade. Hundreds of visitors will come to the festival over the weekend to enjoy the 'Infiorata' and on the Monday local children will be allowed to run through the flowers to destroy the exhibit until next year.

Via Corrado Nicolaci is also home to the elegant Palazzo Nicolaci, a Baroque-style residence which now houses the local library and is renowned for its intricate balconies such as the one in the image below. The city of Noto is famous for its 18th century buildings including its beautiful cathedral and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Anyone who won't be able to make it to Noto for the flower festival should at least make a visit to our new Facebook group - Siclian Connections 'La Piazza' at the following link -!/groups/304770149603514/. This group has been created to allow our friends across the world to share their favourite Sicilian photographs and songs so please join us!

A presto!


P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog please become a follower by registering at the Google 'Join this site' icon at the top right of the page. Grazie mille for your support!!