I don't get it. I've got only one thing that most of people in sicily are really different in mentality from continental part. Actually, I've even got a question in me head, where do you draw a line between being "temperamental" and being rude? being "hot" and having no manners? expressing your emotions suddenly and shouting? I've seen many families of my friends in Italy.. but here in sicily, of course this is not applied to everyone, there are many nice, open, warm, polite people. but on the other hand, from my personal point of view, some of them are on the limit of being neurotic with shouting, egoistic with their own wishes not minding people around, maybe it's from the times of "adorable babies" and chameleonic with manners. this is especially applied to "kids" from 20-35 years old. in a few words too spoiled, especially inside families, while being home. Despite that, most of the people are nice , hospitable and friendly...temperamental too :P
San Gerlando is a patron of the city, nevertheless, the most popular and celebrated fiest in Agrigento belongs to San Calogero, which is very respected here by religious people. Religiousity is quite strong in SIcily, but in these days more among older people rather than young ones.
This celebration is really something to see. It's happening on the first and second Sunday of July. The procession starts at S.Calogero church. There are many ancient rituals. Older people told me that once it used to be the main celebration of all the town, when everybody used to dress up, to socialize, with horses dressed in colorful clothes (these are still present, but not as many as years and years ago), with offerings and wishes for healing.
this religious celebration has deep roots in Agrigento,.it used to be very wide-spread among agriculture workers and middle class "simple people". Apart procession of carrying saint, exchanging wishes and offerings, horses, there were present also drums. If you are around Agrigento in this period don't miss the celebration.
In sicily every city has a fiest of some saint like this, afterall, it's the land were religious processions remained most archaic, even thought, they are already changing.
In the evening of these two Sundays, in the center of the city (higher up) you can enjoy fantastic and long fireworks!
In February every year, as the trees bloom white, the almond is celebrated with a procession and lots of fun. I wish I could take time off one year and get to see this, as Sicilian almond products belong to the yummiest things in the world to me! :-)
When you feel that southern Sicily is too hot for you, almost as close to Africa as it is to mainland Italy, then catch bus 2 (same as the temple valley so you can combine them) to San Leone and either visit the "lido" or just one of the bars along the seafront. There is also a huge playground for children down there.
Talking about San Leone, I also have to mention the by Sicilian standards very large coastguard office with helicopter pad here. The southern coast is of course a popular landing place for immigrants from Africa. Again, you see that this is the island where Europe ends...
This applies to all Italy in general. Conversation with locals: Sometimes non locals think that Italians are mad or angry when talking to each other. It is a custom among Italians to speak very loud.
One would think they're yelling or some sort when they are not. At times arguments heat up and people say what they think and trying to convince the others that they're right and the other is wrong. In this case they raise their voices and often the loudest person is the one who is right and the others have to listen to that person.
Do not get intimidated by this! If you join a conversation of Italians, just use the same tone of loud voice they do. They will have no problem with it.
Read about some rather interesting Italian customs in the web page below. See URL.