In February in Acireale there’s the Carnival and it is among the most beautiful in Italy. It has very ancient origins and boasts floats of imposing size, with mobile structures, full of lights. There are also flowered floats, made exclusively with fresh flowers, but they are also equipped with mechanical movement. There are many parades, from Thursday until Shrove Tuesday which transform the old town center involving the audience with music and dancing. The most beautiful floats are rewarded, one more reason to make every year more and more beautiful works of art.
SAGRA DEL CARCIOFO DI RAMACCA
In Ramacca there’s the Artichoke Festival in March. This vegetable has been celebrated for 25 years with dishes and tastings. The typical type of the area is the violet artichoke that can be served in many recipes, as a seasoning in the pasta, omelettes and quiches, but also in uncommon ways as in desserts made with artichoke cream. You can also taste it simple, raw in vinaigrettes. There’s also a legend, telling that it has aphrodisiac powers! During the festival you can admire folk groups in traditional costumes.
FESTIVAL DELLA GRANITA SICILIANA
In Acireale there’s the Sicilian Granita Festival, also called Nivarata, in May. The granita is perfect for hot summer days and has a very old tradition. In the past the snow in the mountain was stored in caves excavated in the rock, the snow remained there for months and was scraped from time to time to be used, among other things, to produce the granita. In addition to the traditional lemon flavor today there are many flavors such as almonds, pistachio and coffee.
U PISCI A MARI
In June there’s the U Pisci a Mari in Azitressa. This event is linked to the celebrations for St. John the Baptist and sees a representation of fishing with traditional boats and people in costumes. On the same day there’s also the festival of swordfish, protagonist of many delicious recipes.
SAGRA DEL PISTACCHIO
In Bronte there’s the Pistachio Festival in late August. There’s a great variety of desserts, cakes, ice cream, pistachio creams, but also many recipes with meat or with pasta or combinations with cheeses. In addition to the sauce for the pasta they use the pistachio flour to make the dough, and lately also the oil for food and also for cosmetic use. You have a lot to choose from!
On every Sunday of the month October, there’s the Ottobrata in Zafferana. A rich programme to enhance the traditions and products of excellence such as wine, grapes, honey, mushrooms, olive oil, desserts. There will also be exhibitions of handicrafts and ancient crafts, from woodwork, to lava stone, to embroideries.