A Festival in Noto

Every parish in Sicily has a festival once a year to celebrate the saint in whose honour the church is dedicated.

We happened to be in Noto a good few years back during the festival at the Cathedral, which is dedicated to Saint Nicolas (Basilica Cattedrale di San Nicola). We began the day with the classic Noto breakfast, which is a nice refreshing glass of icy granita (home made sorbet) and a vanilla “brioche” or bread roll.



Oh, and some almond-flour cakes with cherries on top and crushed almond coatings.

The grown-ups needed some coffee as well to get them going, but for the younger generation, sugar was all that was needed.



“What’s that?” we wondered, when we heard some music.



All Sicilian saints’ festivals begin with marching bands, and this was was very loud and very good!



We used our sugar rush to take a dash along side streets, since Daddy knew a shortcut…..



…. and beat them to the cathedral. Some important looking people seemed to have got there before us.



When the procession arrived, we couldn’t believe how many people were there.





They just kept coming and coming. It gave us a chance to admire the stunning Cathedral from the outside.





Eventually everyone was in the cathedral, so we followed them. It was a good job we had some space to run around, seeing as we were still so full of sugar.



There was a special altar with four siver griffins on top, which had taken a walk around town and then safely made it back “home” to its cathedral.



As a matter of fact, there were lots of griffins everywhere in that cathedral.





It was a little bit difficult to sit still during the religious service, but we did manage it.



Afterwards we met a stone carver who explained how he makes animals out of rocks. We asked if he had any griffins? He said not yet, but he was working on one.



It was a very lovely day, and we enjoyed a relaxed and romantic stroll during the afternoon.



At the end of the day we rode out of town on our trusty steed.



6 Comments Add yours

  1. Tony and Ellen DiLaura says:

    The Baroque cities of Noto and Ragusa are amazing places to visit. It has been too long since we have been to Sicilia. Your great photos make us long to return. Thanks for sending them along.


  2. Dear Sicilian housewife and kids. That was really a fun story, entertaining and informative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VH says:

      Thank you!


  3. T. Franke says:

    I googled: It is the shrine of San Corrado = St. Conrad,
    cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conrad_of_Piacenza
    And the griffins are explained like this:
    “… con i quattro grifoni, figura questa molto antica che ci arriva dal medioriente, metà aquila (la natura spirituale) e metà leone ( la natura umana) rappresentativa della doppia natura di Cristo”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    Fabulous piece as always I as just looking it up for February this year. Loved your book it made me chuckle all day on the beach last summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VDG says:

      Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!


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