Best time to go to Sicily

Holy Week & Easter 2024

No matter where you go for Santa Pasqua in Sicily, you'll find a totally unique experience

Dates: March 24–31, 2024

Holy Week & Easter
Holy Week & Easter
Holy Week & Easter
Holy Week & Easter

Settimana Santa (Holy Week) and Pasqua (Easter) is a special time, filled with ancient rituals. Every town in Sicily is worth exploring, but we'll draw your attention to some of the most spectacular celebrations happening on the island.

Holy Week in Enna

One of the best places to visit during the Holy Week is the province of Enna, home to Sicily's most ancient traditions. The central figures of Enna's Easter are Incappuciati, wearing pointed hoods. Incappuciati represent 15 local confraternities. They are males only, who organize a series of processions, which originated from the Spanish period between the 15th and 17th centuries.

Holy Week & Easter in Palermo

Another colorful celebration, known as Pashkët Arbëreshe, is observed in Piana degli Albanesi in the province of Palermo. Local traditions were influenced by the Greek Orthodox faith and have some Byzantine flavor. Many rites are performed in Greek or Albanian. The celebration starts on Easter Sunday morning after the mass at the Cathedral. The main highlight of festivities is the Pontifical procession of women in traditional dresses, parading across the main streets of the town.

Il Ballo Dei Diavoli

Palermo is distinguished for another tradition of Il Ballo Dei Diavoli, which takes place in Prizzi. On Easter morning, two masked red-faced and Death, dressed in yellow, play pranks and disturb passers-by, who have to pay off with money or sweets. The devils try to undermine the Easter celebration but eventually get defeated.

Holy Week in San Fratello, Messina

Giudei of San Fratello in the province of Messina is perhaps the most extraordinary thing you've ever seen. Holy Week is the most mourning time in a year but not in San Fratello. The town's processions are interrupted by grotesque characters, wearing bright pseudo-military-style costumes and playing loud trumpets. Such performances in the middle of Jesus' funeral might look somewhat confusing. However, it has been a long-lasting tradition for ages and wasn't interrupted even during both world wars.

Holy Week in Trapani

Go to Trapani to view Processione dei Misteri. The procession of the Madonna of the Pieta’ (Massari) takes place on Good Friday, the culmination of the Holy Week events in Trapani. The day-long passion procession consists of 20 floats with lifelike wooden sculptures. The sculptures are arranged to recreate scenes of the events of the Passion. Processione dei Misteri is one of the oldest processions in Europe, dating back to 1612.

Settimana Santa in Adrano, Catania

Settimana Santa in Adrano, the province of Catania, has equally impressive processions. Besides, it's home to a unique tradition of Diavolata performances on Easter Sunday, which depict the battle between Saint Michael the Archangel and devils, between the good and the evil.

Diavolata originates in the 18th century and is based on the play, called "The Resurrection," written by Adrano-native Don Anselmo Laudani in 1752. Since then, the residents of Adrano have formed a theater company every year to recreate the sacred play, teaching their young ones scenic movements and verses so that the tradition goes on.

The Passion of Christ Easter Festival in Cianciana, Agrigento

For a truly grieving atmosphere, witness The Passion of Christ Easter Festival in Cianciana in the province of Agrigento. The solemn celebration starts on Palm Sunday, and then culminates during Good Friday, when locals recreate the procession of Christ carrying the cross to crucifixion. The Passion of Christ (Via Crucis) Festival in Cianciana dates back to 1870. The verses are recited from Il Riscatto d'Adamo Nella Morte di Gesu' Cristo, Il martorio, written by Filippo Orioles in 1700s.

Easter in San Biagio Platani

To marvel at festive decorations, visit San Biagio Platani in the province of Agrigento. It's especially famous for a series of decorated archways known as Gli Archi di Pascua or Easter Arches. The best time is Easter Sunday, when you'll be able to watch the processions of the Resurrected Jesus and Mary.

Easter food

A traditional Easter lunch in Sicily is a delight to all senses, which you will never forget. Traditionally, lamb is consumed on Easter Sunday, so it's a great occasion to try lamb stew (aggrassato) or Palermo lamb (stigghiola), served with tender spring-time artichokes. Falsomagro is another Easter symbol, a stuffed meatloaf with a hardboiled egg inside. Alternatively, you can try bruciuluni stuffed beef rolls. Mouthwatering Easter desserts include pupu cu l’ova cookies with an egg in the middle and Sicilian cassata cake.

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin