Donít think of Italy as only a summer destination. There are plenty of things to do and to see during the Italian spring, fall, and even winter. This series of articles provides ideas for your Italian September vacation, describing regional spectacles, tourist attractions, and special events, and sometimes sports. Italian fall holidays have several advantages: You wonít fight the crowds, hotels and other accommodations are easier and cheaper to find, and every region has its own fall festivals. Start organizing your Italian fall holidays now. Keep reading.
The island of Sicily lies in the Mediterranean Sea southwest of mainland Italyís southern tip. While September days are often hot, the nights may be cool. Sicily is a very traditional region and its festivals tend to be authentic. From September first to third Capizzi, a small town of about 3500, celebrates its Feast of Saint Antonio from Padua including a horseback parade to an old statue of the saint. On the first Sunday the small town of Ciminna, population about 4000, on the islandís northern coast presents a spectacular parade of 240 people in period costumes evoking the life and martyrdom of Saint Vito. There is also a major livestock fair on the same day. And the northeastern coastal city of Milazzo, population 32 thousand, hosts the Feast of Saint Stefano with traditional folklore exhibits and shows.
On September eighth the nearby coastal city of Patti, population some 13 thousand, hosts the Feast of Holy Mary of Tindari with band concerts, fireworks, an exposition of local items and souvenirs plus a meat and celery fair. That day Catania on the east coast, a city of almost 300 thousand, presents its Festival of Maria SS Bambina. After a parade to the sea everybody embarks onto fishermenís boats. Septemberís second Sunday is busy here. Patti hosts the Festival of the Madonna a Mare (Madonna of the Sea); her golden statue is transported to the ocean and placed on an illuminated fishing boat brimming with local townsfolk and musicians. Then hundreds of smaller illuminated fishing boats head to the bay where the Madonna gives a Benediction of the Sea. And thatís only the beginning. The northern coastal city Altavilla Milicia, population 5000, gives thanks to the Madonna of Milicia. According to tradition, endangered fishermen threw her image into the tempestuous sea, which very suddenly became tranquil. The city renders homage to her with a great party. In the northern coastal village of Baucina, population 2000, twelve groups of girls represent episodes in the life and the martyrdom of the patron saint, Santa Fortunata. Fifty believers carry a very heavy urn on their shoulders. Legend says that the Saint assists or hampers them depending on menís level of loyalty.
From the 14th through the 17th of September the beautiful northwestern coastal town of San Vito Lo Capo, population 4000, hosts an International CousCous Festival with dancing to live music, abundant typical local foods, and a couscous competition attracting some of the worldís best cooks. On the third Saturday the small town of Villafrati, home to 3300, hosts the Festivity of the Most Holy Curcifix Parade complete with gaily-dressed horses and mules. The village children, dressed up as little angels and reciting psalms, are suspended in the air by heavy ropes as the parade passes underneath them. That weekend the city of Giarre, population 27 thousand, on the islandís east coast presents its Mercantino delle Pulci (Little Market of the Fleas).
The islandís capital and largest city, Palermo on the northwest coast is home to more than 650 thousand. On September 26 it hosts the Feast of Saint Cosma and Saint Damiano, where vendors sell special sweets in the streets, under portraits of the Saints. Mezzojuso is an ethnic and linguistic Albanian community of about 3 thousand. On the 27th of the month it presents a traditional parade of decorated horses, called Cunnutta. Finish September on Sicilyís southwestern coast at the city of Sciacca, population over 40 thousand, at the Saint Michele Feast of Agriculture.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Sicily or other Italian wines.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.
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September events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in Sicily