Ciao a tutti,

After a drab January enjoying some rest at home after my Southern Italy tripping over the holidays, things are starting to pick-up again starting with Catania’s theatrical three-day Festa di Sant’Agata.

As the city’s most important feste, and one of the most popular expressions of mass devotion in the world, the Feste of Sant’Agata is unlike any other. Tens of thousands of people pour into the streets and squares to show their gratitude or to pray for Catania‘s patron. The festivities span across three days of religious patronage, fireworks and eating (of course). Although I wasn’t able to stay in Catania for all three days, I wanted to at least see the opening acts.

I headed up to Catania fairly early that day to get a chance to enjoy the bright sunshine and get some shots of the magnificent carriage that rides across the main streets at 11:00AM. Unlike my city‘s patron Santa Lucia, who makes her way around the city slower than molasses in February, the Sant’Agata procession is unbelievably lively and exciting. Eleven huge candles (which look more like elaborate baroque statues) which each weigh up to 1,000kg are carried sprinted through the streets, largely accompanied by a marching band and cheering crowds. The energy is unreal.

Sadly for me, my friend and I tend to have one thing on our minds all time: food. So we ended up confusing the times of the fireworks in favour of having dinner at this amazing new restaurant, Fud. I highly recommend it – unique flavours, only fresh ingredients, fun atmosphere and great prices all in the heart of historic Catania , but sadly, we missed the fireworks. Which is pretty much the entire point of going to Sant’Agata in the first place. I’m sill beating myself up over it.

Allora, I’ll post a proper guide to enjoying the festival later. For now, look at these pretty pictures:

Next stop: Venice Carnivale!



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