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Why Sicily

The People, Food, Wine, History, Scenery…

Christmas lights in Ragusa Sicily

2017 Calendar of Events for Southeast Sicily
(Please verify all dates before you plan your visit)

July 2017

25th Annual International Music Competition & Festival - Ragusa Ibla

July 6 -16 - verify dates


The IBLA Foundation in New York City organizes annual music competitions for pianists, singers, instrumentalists and composers which takes place in Ragusa Ibla, Italy. Winners have been presented in prestigious venues such Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall, Tokyo Opera City Hall, Tchaikovsky Bolshoi Hall in Moscow as well as other prestigious venues in the USA, Canada, Europe, Russia, Indonesia and Japan.

In cooperation with:

     • New York University
     • Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimo
     • Radford University
     • Berklee School of Music
     • Kent State University
     • E. P. T. A. Associates of New York
     • The City of Little Rock, Arkansas
     • The City of Jacksonville, Arkansas
     • Città di Ragusa
     • Ragusa Ibla, Sicily


International music festival Ragusa Ibla
International music festival Ragusa Ibla 1

August 2017

Celebrazione della Madonna della Neve
Giarratana, Sicily

28 July to 5 August - verify dates

Many days of celebrations, live bands, food booths, religious procession carrying the Madonna with booming cannons and fireworks (mid-day) Culminating with a spectacular fireworks display at midnight on the final evening.

Giarratana, Sicily


Fireworks in Giarratana, Sicily
celebration della madonna della neve Giarratana, Sicily

Giarratana Onion Festival - Giarratana, Sicily

August 14

Celebrating the harvest of some of the largest and most well known onions in Sicily. They can weigh up to 2 kilos! You must taste and experience this festival. Many different food stalls selling local cheeses, World famouse Trapani torrone, assorted foods and sausages and of course many different dishes using this famous onion. The charming town of Giarratana, just 25 minutes from Ragusa, welcomes you.

Giarratana onion festival 1
Giarratana Sicily onion festival

August is the traditional month for vacations in Europe.Come and see why but be sure to book early!
Visit our partner BOOKING.COM to search for the best prices

Giarratana Horse & Donkey Fair - Giarratana, Sicily

Mid-August, usually after the Onion Festival- verify dates

Donkeys in Sicily
Show horse in Sicily

Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle - Giarratana, Sicily 

August 24 - verify date

The Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle is celebrated in supreme fashion in the small town of Giarratana. Probably the biggest celebration of the year, the statue of the patron saint is carried through the narrow streets of Giarratana for all to see. Afterwards there is an auction of the gifts that have been offered to the patron saint and later that night an elaborate fireworks display that should not be missed.

Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle - Giarratana, Sicily  1
Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle - Giarratana, Sicily 2

Feast of San Giovanni Battista - Ragusa

August 29 - date may change

The Feast of San Giovanni Battista, the Patron Saint of upper Ragusa, Sicily. Three foot candles and hundreds of people winding their way through the streets of Ragusa in an ages old solemn procession followed by a huge fireworks display after midnight. Plenty of food stalls and shopping stalls to keep you busy till the big fireworks finale!

feast of san giovanni battista Ragusa Sicily 1
feast of san giovanni battista Ragusa Sicily 2

Sagre della Pizza and della Foccacia - Buscemi

August 30th

On the hilltop directly across from Palazzolo in the village of Buscemi, is held the Sagre della Pizza and della Foccacia. Bring your appetite.


wood fired pizza Sicily
foccacia bread Sicily

September 2017

A celebration honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes. Featuring all of the different foods of southeastern Sicily.

2nd week of September - San Giacomo, Sicily

Celebrated in the small town of San Giacomo, the celebration lasts for a week and has different events nightly. Food booths, carnival rides, singing, dancing and live bands.


cheeze in Sicily
sample the tastes of Sicily

Bronte Pistachio Festival - 2 weekends of events

22 Sept to 24 Sept. and 29 Sept. to 1 October - Dates verified.

Many fun events and music on each day. Come and sample the pistachios that have made Bronte famous!

Bronte - on the slopes of Mt. Etna

For more information in Italian:


pistachios from Bronte, Sicily
Mount Etna Sicily
October 2017

Ottobrata Zafferanese 2017 - An event of the City of Zafferana Etnea

Throughout the month of October

L 'Ottobrata Zafferanese is an important cultural event exhibition that takes place every Sunday in the month of October in the historic center of Zafferana ( CT ).

A month long celebration featuring traditional horse drawn carts, parades, food, wines, music and dancing. Featuring Saga del Ôuva (grapes), the apples of Etna, mushrooms and honey, chestnuts and wine.

Established in the early eighties as a simple market-exhibition of local products, has evolved over time in the direction of a complex event, full of different facets, which annually attracts hundreds of thousands [1] of visitors from all over the Sicily and beyond.

The Ottobrata is divided into four or five festivals (depending on the number of Sundays in the month of October):

• Festival of grapes

• Festival of honey

• Festival of apples Etna

• Festival of mushrooms

• Festival of chestnuts

Undisputed heros of each Sunday are the typical products of the earth, and their derivatives: the grapes, the wine , the mustard , honey, apples and seasonal fruits ( prickly pears , pomegranates , walnuts , hazelnuts , chestnuts , pistachios etc..), porcini mushrooms and other varieties of Etna, the ' oil , the olives and preserved in oil. A large space is devoted to crafts and visitors can, along the route of the historic center, stop and observe the ancient crafts now in danger of extinction (sculptors of wood and lava stone, painters shores of Sicilian carts , embroiderers, workers wrought iron, puppeteers etc..). The Piazza Umberto I is home to many stands where you can taste the local sweets (skiers, the donuts, the almond paste, tea leaves, etc.), liqueurs, wines, honey, nougat and the caramelized nuts, pistachio ice cream and many other delicacies. In the Villa Comunale, below the square, are placed booths displaying and selling meats, cheeses and preserves typical Sicilian food.

A large space, that of the former municipal sports field, is used as a gastronomic sector in which visitors can enjoy delicious local sandwiches with sausage and pork or horse, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms and olives seasoned. A space is also reserved to voluntary associations and social solidarity for the information and the collection of funds for humanitarian purposes.

The Ottobrata Zafferanese integrates the exposure of local products and selling them to cultural events is very important for the whole area of Etna, with conferences and debates on issues related to the protection and recognition of the quality of local products, screening of documentaries on Etna and its territory, excursions to fascinating places, performances by musical groups and dance, exhibitions and much more.

The event is organized every year by a special committee, with the support and collaboration of the City of Zafferana, the Province of Catania , the Sicilian Region , dell ' Etna Park Authority , the Chamber of Commerce of Catania, Associations Terre Etna and Alcantara, City of Vulcan, City of Wine, City of Honey, Apples Manufacturers Etna, Etna Wine Roads.

Source: Wikipedia


painted donkey cart in Sicily
local market day in Siracusa Sicily

Agrimontana in Palazzolo Acreide

Around the 3rd Weekend of October - verify dates

Sample the local traditional flavors of Palazzolo and the surrounding area. Be sure not to miss the sausages and honey.

Agrimontana in Palazzolo Acreide
homemade sausage from Sicily
November 2017
December 2017

"Chocobarocco" - Modica Chocolate Festival - Modica, Sicily

3rd to 8th of December - verify actual dates

Also referred to as Chocobarocco, the festival is dedicated to the delicious chocolate made in Modica with the same processes introduced hundreds of years ago by the Spaniards. Handed down over the centuries little has changed over the years. Come and taste the wonderful diverse flavors of Modica chocolate; Chili pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, orange, sea salt, white pepper, cardamom, marjoram, nutmeg and of course regular chocolate flavor!

On the main shopping street Corso Umberto 1, 159 Modica, Sicily and Bottega Sicula

Modica Chocolate Festival
Modica Sicily Chocolate festival

Presepe Vivente - Living Nativity Scene - Giarratana, Ragusa Ibla, Scicli, Palazzolo, Monterosso Almo Chiaramonte Gulfi and many other towns in the area.

Check for dates from late December to early January.

Also many other scenes of Sicilian life from hundreds of years ago. A fascinating look back in history reenacted before your very eyes. Stroll through the streets of old Giarratana and let your imagination take you back to a bygone era.

Nearly all of the cities in the area such as Ragusa Ibla, Scicli, Palazzolo, Monterosso Almo, Chiaramonte Gulfi and many others have similar events, all well worth viewing.

presepe scene Giarratana Sicily
Giarratana Sicily presepe Vivente

Please Note: While every effort has been made to provide the correct dates and locations of events and sights in this website, the authors assume no liability as to the accuracy of the dates or locations contained in this website. Please verify all dates and locations prior to planning your visit.