Sicilia Local Customs

  • On a school wall in Sicily
    On a school wall in Sicily
    by rosata
  • a Cannolo - a Sicilian sensation
    a Cannolo - a Sicilian sensation
    by Chinggis_n_Borte
  • Sicilian culinary delights
    Sicilian culinary delights
    by Chinggis_n_Borte

Sicilia Local Customs

  • Meals and drinks

    Palermo Local Customs

    Palermo presents an impresive range of fresh fishes . While being in Sicily I ate all my lunch at a friend mom's home, and later on I was trying to find the recipes of whatever she was making. The fresh fishes are easy to cook, the lunch is not complicated, and the taste is simply perfect. Here are some of the recipes: Sicilian Salmon...

  • Daily life

    Palermo Local Customs

    Coming from the UK I know how it feels when you go on holiday and as soon as it gets a little bit hot you need to put your flip flops on and a skimpy little vest top. Well they don't do that in Palermo, I know what you're thinking - that's because they're used to the heat - but really it's more of a dress code, flip flops are for the beach and vest...

  • History

    Palermo Local Customs

    Back in the 1950s the Piazzale Ungheria in the centre of Palermo was the place to be seen as you sipped an espresso. It was here, at one of the cafés under the arcade, that Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa wrote 'Il Gattopardo' (The Leopard), a rich tale of the decline of Sicilian aristocracy set against the background of Italian unification. The...

  • Il Tocco

    Palermo Local Customs

    IL TOCCOThe game of ' Tocco 'is a very old popular tradition in Sicily which has always been played by working-class people. The original point of this game is to drink in a circle of friends around the same table. The rules stipulate that the two main characters, 'U padruni' and 'u sutta' (The boss and his assistant ) actually decide

  • Shopping

    Palermo Local Customs

    In general people are less focussed on famous labels like Armani, Versace (like in Rome). I couldn't believe the number of blond people. (probably has to do with the history of a/o the Normans). The best thing is this is a nice city but there aren't relatively that many tourists.

  • Do not bow to the racket!

    I travel to different south eastern Sicilian schools during my time in Sicily and find it heartening to see that some teachers encourage schoolchildren to eschew the mob racket mentality which permeates part of Sicilian society: Cosa Nostra for all Sicily especially Palermo, Stidda for east Sicily including major cities of northern Italy, Camorra...

  • Oranges and lemons, and pass the...

    It's hard to imagine a Sicily without orange and lemon trees - you see them everywhere. Nine out of ten lemons sold in Italy are grown in Sicily, and the island is famed for its blood oranges with their deep red juice. Like so many other important elements of the Sicilian diet, citrus fruits were introduced to the island by the Arabs.Whether it's...

  • Sicilian Christmas Lights

    We thought the Christmas attractions such as the lights in the shopping streets of Siracusa and Noto were very tasteful and elegant. There were no flashing illuminations to be seen on private housing and we felt that generally the Christmas decorations were played down - certainly in comparison with the UK. The Santas climbing up or down ladders...

  • Shop at the local Market

    Surely the local markets must be one of the favourite things to do as a tourist or traveller anywhere around the world? They are busy places where you can get a real feel for local life and the characters on both sides of the stalls.We were not disappointed by our regular visits to the market in Ortigyia, the old heart of Siracusa. The market there...

  • Try out the local Gelateria

    Italy is famous for its ice cream and Sicily seems to be no exception. I was really impressed with the number of small shops given over to the sale of ice creams - the Gelateria. Our local, just on the corner away from our apartment stayed open till late ( at least 10pm) and we would usually end up there after our meal out - having our dessert of...

  • New Years Eve celebrations in Siracusa

    We had seen the temporary stage which had been erected in the Piazza del Duomo in the heart of Ortigyia, the old town of Siracusa, and we had imagined there was going to be a free concert by some local bands. Instead at about 11.30pm there were local celebrities doing a non stop chat show with, what looked like, links to local TV and radio. The...

  • siesta

    So, you're in the South and life cycles here differ - I am glad they value so much their leisure time and are not changing this siesta habit because of pressure and prejudices from 'outside'. But if you do get hungry you'll be mostly seeing closed restaurants and shops; according to words of local living here siesta time is between 2 pm - 7 pm. In...

  • Sicilian Street Markets

    Sicilian street markets provide some of the best experience on the island, they are sights in themselves. During my travel throughout Sicily I realized that Sicilians are healthy because much of their culture revolves around healthful fresh ingredients, and the best place to find what's in season is the local market. Every town, village and...

  • Traditional Sweets

    Sicilian sweets, known all over the world, are heritage of past dominations.They are of the highest quality, rich in colour and elaborately designed, and every province keep its own tradition. Any decent pasticceria (pastry shop) and even small bar have a good selection of delicious cakes and pastries. The most traditional are: Cassata - the queen...

  • Sicilian Wine

    Wine has been made in Sicily for many centuries and the island is home to more vineyards than any other region in Italy. Today, wine is an integral part of the Sicilian diet. If you go into any trattoria in a small town, ask for 'vino locale' to accompany your meal, and you will taste a wine that is almost unchanged for centuries. It is often high...

  • Trinacria - Symbol of Sicily

    The Trinacria is the ancient name for Sicily and a symbol of the island. It derives from the archaic Triskele, that is that strange figure composed of a head of a woman from which three human legs are folded at the knee. The word means 'triangle' as for the shape - the three points represents the three capes of Sicily, Pachino, Peloro and Lilibeo....

  • Sicilian Ceramics

    The Arabs brought a rich tradition of ceramic production to Sicily. This timeless art has flourished for millennia, perfectly expressing the essence of Mediterranean culture. Like any other unique piece of art, a ceramic piece begins with an idea, a vision of an individual artist. Shapes, colours and motifs are deeply rooted in the past, with an...

  • Faith and fervour

    Festivals, both religious and secular, are an important part of Sicilian life. Whilst many are a time of partying, feasting and fireworks, others (particularly at Easter) have a religious fervour that is both sombre and moving. Many feature long processions, sometimes with colourful floats, others see statues of beloved saints carried through the...

  • Masterpieces in marzipan

    The artistry employed in producing the marzipan fruits and vegetables seen in pasticceria everywhere is quite amazing. Known as Frutta Martorana, they are reputed to have first been made at the Convent of la Martorana near Palermo for the Feast of All Saints. Although they're still traditionally given as gifts at the the feast, today they're...

  • Beauty or beast?

    The island we know as Sicily was called Trinakrias by the Greeks The Romans called it Trinacrium - it means" triangle" or "star with three points" and is though to refer to the island's triangular shape with a cape at each point - Cape Peloro (or Tip of the Lighthouse the north-east point near Messina), Cape Passero (at Siracusa in the south) and...

  • Siesta

    In summer there maybe very hot and they have a siesta time. Its very strange to us because we dont understand where they all go. Siesta time there is everything colsed(shops, restorans, etc) Streets are emty. Siesta time is 1 pm-4 pm.

  • Kisses on the Cheeks

    Here in Sicily and also in Italy we use to greet either men or women by kissing on the cheeks if you know them well. This may seem a bit strange to people from other countries but here it is prefectly normal for 2 men to kiss on the cheeks when meeting.. this is our way to greet a close friend! So don't think it's weird:)))

  • Goliath cactus

    Someone says that Sicily is the Garden of ItalySure the weather here very fine. I found on my way this little curiosity.It was really amazing...approaching Palermo I had to stop to take a pic to that "goliath" cactus!I have one of that cactus on the terrace at my sea home, but mine is tall 30cm!that's why I get astonished (maybe you are used to see...

  • Religious windows

    You will find many of this small windows with inside the image of the Virgin and some candles by the side. It stresses the devoteness of the folks.

  • Unique Candy in Sicily

    While visiting Sicily, we started to notice what we thought, at first, to be fruit. We discovered that it was really "Martoran" Fruit or a form of Marzipan".This "Martorana" Fruit is made with Marzipan. Marzipan is made of fresh, finely ground almonds and caramelized sugar blended in perfect proportions. The marzipan is then shaped by hand into...

  • Goats Roam Freely

    While walking from our hotel called Hotel Calleverde Park in Agrigento, Allan and I came across several different herds of goats.The first time, which was when I took this photograph, we thought that the goats had gotten away from the owner.You see, in America, farm animals do not roam freely. They are usually either penned up or in an area that is...

  • To Say I'M Sorry....

    One day in Siracus, I was seated on a wall, and Allan was taking my picture. It was such a "cheesy" pose that I was laughing and jumped down.I was not paying attention and accidentally hit a lovely older woman who was strolling by on the sidewalk. I remember that she was pulling a cart that had purchased items it it.I told her how sorry I was, but...

  • Pay Attention To The Children

    One of the things that I love about Italy in general, and Sicily inparticular, is how the people adore children. It's as though the entire community "raises and praises" the children. Yet, the children are well behaved, infact, quite delightful. So, show attention to children; you will earn the respect of the elders.While in Taormina, we saw this...

  • Cutlery & addition

    In the restaurants the prices are posted except cutlery which they add after on the addition! Don't be surprised!

  • Fresh tomato sauce

    South Italy people use to make fresh tomato sauce provisions for all year long.We buy a considerable quantity of tomatoes, wash properly, cut, boil, pass thru a machine in order to sift away peels and remaining seeds and the hot tomato sauce is ready to be put in bottles and used whenever you need.

  • Super sink

    It's only when you enlarge this pic to huge proportions that you can see the pedal. I have seen this before, but never as many as on Sicily: sinks where you have a foot pedal for the water, which is an excellent idea as you don't have to touch anything to turn the water on in the loo.

  • The dirty oranges...

    are the best! Whilst we accept spotless fruit in Scandinavia, the Sicilians chuckle whilst munching on the less good looking but far better tasting oranges. We nearly cried when we had the last one back in Sweden after coming home.

  • Cosa Nostra - part II

    Most of what I now write comes from the Swedish author Maud Webster who has worked as an archaeologist in Italy and written about the mafia. She states that about a tenth of a percent of the Sicilian population are mafioso. If each member then knows 50 persons to manipulate in one way or another, that makes around 250 000 Sicilians out of a 5...

  • Cosa Nostra

    I bet you thought I would put the mafia as a warning. Well I'm not, and the reason is indeed that I felt safer on Sicily than in most places I have visited. But I will tell you what I have so far figured out about the mafia - or Cosa Nostra as the Sicilian part of it is known. Yes, of course it exists, but you would be unlucky to see much of it....

  • Women in churches...

    Religion -- and hence churches -- is a very serious thing in Italy and even more so in Sicily. Women travelers should not enter churches with bare shoulders and in some places (like Palermo's cathedral), somebody will be there to offer somekind of cover (usually a plain sheet of paper). In summer time, it seems that there is a wedding in each...

  • Food (2)

    An other tipical food, you can not easily find in other places in Italy, is the Granita.Granita is made by ice, chopped very finely and it has several flavours. My suggestion is to try it at Coffee flavour or at Almonds flavour.It's used to eat the Granita with a brioche.Definitely TO TRY!

  • Food (1)

    The Cassata Siciliana is one of the best cakes I've ever tried, even if in Sicily you cannot say that it is the best.....try the others!!!! :-))

  • Christmas dinner

    It is tradition that the Sicilians (and Italians) have a 7 fish dinner on Christmas Eve. Some Suggestions: Antipasto is basically an appetizer consisting of Mozzarella, Provolone, Olives, Roasted Peppers, Hot Peppers, Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Fresh Italian/French Bread. Usually it would have meat such as prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, soprosata...

  • Saint Name Day

    Name Day, or Onomastico is based on the Feast Days for Saints. Traditionally, Italian chose the names of their children based on the name of a grandparent, choosing names from the father's side of the family first and then from the mother's side. Sometimes, children are named for Saints, typically for the Saint on whose Feast Day they were born,...

  • South Markets

    Outdoor markets abound all over Italy, offering travelers a unique source of souvenirs and consolation gifts for the friends they left behind. But markets play a slightly different role in the South, where they are often the only source of dry goods and fancy foods in small, relatively secluded hill towns. These markets may not be as flashy and...

  • Sicilian ceramic art

    The Sicilian ceramic master's craft is deeply rooted in time. This timeless art has flourished for millennia, perfectly expressing the essence of Mediterranean culture. Shapes, colours and motifs born of a profound respect for the past with an eye to the future. Terra cotta harvested from the earth and caressed by the Sicilian sun. Like any other...

  • Sicilian dialect

    The Sicilian Dialect is actually comprised of words from the Arabic, Greek and Italian languages. Sicily itself, due to its Mediterranean location was also a melting pot of those different cultures and languages. The most distinct difference of the Sicilian dialect from the Italian dialect is the fact that the Sicilians "sing" their words more and...

  • Tarantella dance

    The Tarantella Dance music is probably the most recognized song of all the Italian folklore music. It literally means "tarantula" because the dance is done buy everyone in a great big circle going clockwise, until the music in the set changes, becomes faster, then they quickly change the direction to counterclockwise, this continues several times...

  • Il carretto siciliano (Sicilian...

    Between the Sicilian craftsmanship there is the typical Sicilian handcarts with his classical decorums it is without doubt the most known and meaningful object of the art popular Sicilian. Its origins go up again at the end of the eighteenth century.

  • Superstitions

    The Sicilians are very superstitious people, almost more than being devout Roman Catholics: When entering someone's home, always leave through the same door you can in from, otherwise its bad luck Never put a new pair of shoes on the kitchen table Put brand new shiny coins on the window sill before midnight on New Year's Eve for good luck, place...


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Sicilia Local Customs

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