Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Almond Blossom Festival - Agrigento

Buongiorno a tutti! As the evenings start to turn lighter and we head into February, many of us start to look forward to the onset of Spring. The winter snow was fun and Christmas was enchanting as always, but I, for one, am certainly ready for the first rays of Spring sunshine to make their appearance.

On that note, I would like to talk about one of my favourite events in Sicily - La Sagra del Mandorlo in Fiore or 'the Almond Blossom Festival'. This annual event takes place in the majestic city of Agrigento and celebrates the first almond blossoms of the season - one of the earliest visible signs that Spring is coming.

The main city of Agrigento lies on a plateau overlooking the Mediterranean Sea on the southern coast of Sicily. It is the site of the ancient city of Akragas which dates back to around 580 BC and was described by the poet Pyndar as ''the most beautiful of mortal cities''. A great number of visitors come to the area to view some of the best-preserved Ancient Greek temples outside of Greece itself, which are situated in the 'Valle dei Templi' (Valley of the Temples) to the south of the city. This is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From the 1st until the 10th February, the city comes alive with colourful folk dancers from across the world exhibiting their traditional costumes and dances for the gathered crowds. Local restaurants and bars in the area serve delicious almond dishes and vibrant processions take place throughout the town.

Enjoy this wonderful video which shows the festival's highlights from last year -

If you can't make it to the festival then why not enjoy some almond and honey cookies or 'Mastazzoli'. The recipe is at on my Christmas blog post - http://sicilianconnections.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/tis-season-of-sicilian-christmas.html.

A presto,

Debra Santangelo

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


  1. Debra,
    as usual, the images and your blog are amazing. I HATE looking at it because it makes me mad I am here rather than there !!!!!!!!!!!
    You are doing fabulous work to promote our beloved Sicilia. Oh By the way. Francesca lit up when I mentioned we are friends !!!!!!!!
    best wishes...Joe

  2. Grazie Joe!
    I love the colors of the Almond Blossom Festival. I'm so pleased that you got to meet Francesca :-) A presto, Debra.