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Tag Archives: Sicily

What You Should Know about Holy Week Traditions in Italy

Any visitor in Italy during Holy Week would do well to know a bit about the rich traditions that surround this occasion. With Roman Catholicism being considered as the largest religion in the country in which the Vatican can also be found, a number of Holy Week traditions in Italy, from practices to rituals still prevail, particularly in the southern regions. The beginning of Holy Week is on Palm Sunday, and it lasts for the rest of the week up until Black Saturday, before ending in joyous Easter, or “Pasqua”, celebrations. Take note that the Monday right after Easter (“Pasquetta”) is also a holiday, so plan your trips accordingly. On Palm Sunday, the faithful normally flock to the churches where a mass and possibly processions are held. There are also baskets of olive branches and palms which are then blessed by the priest and are handed out to the congregation. [...]

Home Sweet Home: Aphrodite Statue Returns to Sicily

This is a fascinating story that spans centuries and continents. The famous Aphrodite statue is now on display in Aidone, Sicily, after a decades-long odyssey involving the J. Paul Getty Museum of Los Angeles and Italian prosecutors. The statue of Aphrodite, the ancient goddess of love, was taken from the archeology-rich region of Morgantina, near Enna, 30 years ago, in an illegal excavation, acquired by the Getty and, after a criminal investigation, repatriated to Italy in the spring of 2012. The story is the subject of a  book, “Chasing Aphrodite,” by Los Angeles Times reporters Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino. For the article and podcast, click HERE. Experts now believe the returned statue represents the goddess Persephone or her mother, Demeter, who were worshipped in the ancient city, Morgantina. Persephone and Hades are closely associated in Greek mythology. Hades abducted Persephone at Largo Pergusa, not far from Morgantina, and required [...]

Sicily, Cover Story in Saveur Magazine

On newsstands now: Saveur Magazine’s current issue focuses on Sicily, that scenic and alluring island at the tip of Italy. Sicily’s culinary riches span sweet and savory, from cannoli to caponata. Seafood is king, and the region’s wine is wonderful, too. If you aren’t familiar with Saveur, the magazine focuses on home cooking, home and abroad, it’s really worth checking out if you like to cook (and eat and travel!). Here are links to some of Saveur’s articles on Sicily: The Soul of Sicily. (With amazing black and white photos!) and The Freshest Catch: The Fish Market in Catania, Sicily. Of course, the articles include recipes, sweet and savory. I might just try this Sicilian Easter dish, Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes, or Cosciotto di Agnello con Patate, leg of lamb is roasted over a bed of potatoes. Tour Italy Now offers several vacation packages to Sicily. Click HERE [...]