Food and wine in Sicily

Food and wine festivals and sagre in Sicily

Here's a page devoted to travelling foodies: our Sicilian food and wine festival calendar!

In our experience, everyone who comes to Sicily falls in love with the food and wine!

They love the variety, the freshness, the simple use and combinations of ingredients and the fact that they are virtually always locally grown or produced... The same is true of the wine!

Most towns and villages have their very own food or wine festival, a sagra, to celebrate the fruits of their labours and to show off their produce.

Here are some sagre taking place in Sicily (listings for other months and other events will come soon when we know the exact dates, so keep coming back to find what's on in Sicily's gastronomic calendar)!

 

March
April
May
June
July
August
September


 

March

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Sagra della Seppia
A chance to feast on cuttlefish in all its different culinary forms.

Where? Donnalucata (on the coast below Scicli)
When? March 2014 (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)


V Sagra Arancia Rossa di Sicilia IGP
Sicily's blood oranges are beyond compare and are duly celebrated at various times all ove the island. Oranges are not the only fruit at this event, however, and there are lots of other tasty local dishes to try as well.

Where? Centuripe (not far from Enna in the centre of Sicily)
When? Usually over a weekend in the middle of March (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)

 

April

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Sagra del Carciofo
The little town of Cerda between Palermo and Cefalu concentrates its efforts on one thing alone: the cultivation and cooking of artichokes! This festival is a celebration of their labours nd visitors can taste the local speciality cooked in dozens of different ways.

Where? Cerda (between Palermo and Cefalu)
When? 25th April 2014

 

Sagra della ricotta e del formaggio
One of Sicily's oldest food festivals in the town of the great writer Giovanni Verga. Freshly made ricotta is something that the whole of Sicily excels in and deserves to be celebrated! You'll be able to try all manner of ricotta products, including cassata and cannoli as well as a host of other local cheeses. Blessed are the Cheesemakers!

Where? Vizzini (in the hills between Caltagirone and Syracuse)
When? 25th April 2014



Sagra della Frittella
Frittella is a dish that celebrates all that is good about the coming of Spring: peas, artichokes and fava beans cooked up together in a tribute to the colour green!

Where? Isnello (in the Madonie Mountains)
When? Usually around 29th April 2014

 

Sagra del Pomodoro and I Gusti del Barocco
Tomatoes provide the excuse for three days of cooking, eating, drinking, folklore and culture... Come along, join in the fun and taste some wonderful things on the sea!

Where? Sampieri (on the sea near Scicli)
When? 30 April - 4th May 2014

 

Festa della Fragola
Anyone who loves strawberries should come to Cassabile and Siracusa at the start of May! Try the new crop (the south-east of Sicily has one of the first crops in Europe) either simply, with sugar, or inside a sausage or a mozzarella ball!

Where? Cassibile (just south of Siracusa) and Syracuse
When? 30th April - 3rd May 2014



 

May

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Festa della Fragola
Anyone who loves strawberries should come to Cassabile and Siracusa at the start of May! Try the new crop (the south-east of Sicily has one of the first crops in Europe) either simply, with sugar, or inside a sausage or a mozzarella ball!

Where? Cassibile (just south of Siracusa) and Siracusa
When? 30th April - 3rd May 2014

 

Cannoli & Friends
Ask a Sicilian what his favourite sweet is and he or she would give one of two answer: cassata or cannolo. This festival celebrates the latter (but doesn't exclude lots of other tasty cakes!) and some of the best are made in Piano degli Albanesi in the hills above Palermo... Last year over 50,000 cannoli were sold in 3 days!

Where? Piana degli Albanesi
Where? Usually first week of May (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)

 

Mercato dei Formaggioi e Sagra della Ricotta
A cheese fest, celebrating a host of different Sicilian cheeses including the ubiquitous ricotta!

Where? Poggioreale (in the province of Trapani)
When? Usually mid-May (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)

 

Sagra delle Teste di Turco
A celebration of one of Scicli's traditional cakes (translated as Turks' Heads), commemorating the Norman victory over the Arabs in 1091 and the subsequent liberation of Scicli. Guests are offered a cake and a glass or two of local wine.

Where? Scicli
When? usually last Saturday in May (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)


 

June

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Sagra delle Fave di San Pietro
One of Sicily's favourite foodstuffs, fava beans, are celebrated every year at Isnello in the Madonie Mountains. Accompanied by roasted onions, boiled potatoes and lashings of local wine

Where? Isnello (in the Madonie Mountains)
When?  29th June 2014

 

Festa del Cappero in Fiore
Salina, one of the seven Aeolian Islands, is known for its uncontaminated beauty, its wines and its capers! This Slow Food festival is a great opportunity for learning about capers and trying some of the island's delicious caper-infused recipes!

Where? Salina (in the Piazza di Sant'Onofrio in Pollara)
When? 31st May and 1st June 2014

 

Inycon a Menfi Wine Festival
A chance to taste some of Sicily's finest wines and visit some of the local cantine in one of the island's most important wine-producing towns. Apart from Bacchus' tipple, there are tastings of local olive oil and other gastronomic products not to mention concerts and shows.

Where? Menfi
When? usually the penultimate weekend of June (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)


 

July

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Sagra della pepata di cozze
If you like mussels, then you should come to this peppered mussel festival!

Where? Aci Trezza (on the Ionian coast between Catania and Taormina)
When? Usually first weekend of July (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)

Stragusto!
A celebration of street food both Sicilian, Italian and Tunisian, all washed down by good local wine and accompanied by music and other events.

Where? Trapani
When? 24th - 27th July 2014

Festa del Raccolto
At this harvest festival celebrating the end of a year's labour, the small town of Cianciana feasts on chickpeas, fava beans and other local produce as it has done for hundreds of years. Prayers of thanksgiving, music and a generally feel-good atmosphere make for a great experience.

Where? Cianciana (inland from Agrigento)
When? 31st July 2014

Sagra dell'Olio
High in the Nebrodi Mountains, the townsfolk of Furnari invite all-comers to taste the fruit of their labours: bread oozing locally produced olive oil, bruschette, olives and wine. Music plays an important role as the locals and their guests let their hair down. 

Where? Furnari (in the Nebrodi Mountains above Tindari)
When? Usually 31st July, though 2014 date not yet confirmed


 

August

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The Festival of San Salvatore
A few days of processions, celebrations, good eating (including a typical dish called Pasta a Taianu made with meat, tomatoes, aubergines and pecorino cheese) to celebrate Cefalu's patron saint. The big day is the final one, but beware the crowds!

Where? Cefalu
When? 2nd- 6th August 2014

Sagra delle Melanzana a Milazzo
Milazzo, on Sicily's northern coast has much to offer (not just hydrofoils for the Aeolian Islands!) including, in August, an aubergine/eggplant festival! Two evenings are given over to cooking and eating one of Sicily's favourite ingredients in a huge variey of dishes! There's also folk music and dancing if you're looking for a little local colour.

Where? Milazzo
When? Usually the first weekend of August (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)

Sagra della pasta cu l’agghia e sasizza arrustuta
One day of feasting on pasta with garlic, almonds and tomatoes (Pesto Trapanese) and barbecued sausage... There's also some excellent local melon and lots of wine...

Where? Buseto Palizzolo, not far fromTrapani
When? the evening of 14th August 2014

Sagra della Cipolla
Famous for its large, flat, sweet onions, that's what Giarratana is! And the town celebrates its precious product with onion-based dishes, cheese, wine, live music and dancing, art exhibitions and fireworks!

Where? Giarratana (in the Iblei hills north of Ragusa)
When? 14th August 2014
 

Sagra dei Sapori Chiaramontani
Cockerels and local products are celebrated during a day of partying in Chiaramonte Gulfi. Expect the usual good-humoured atmosphere, lightened even further by excellent food, wine, music and fireworks!

Where? Chiaramonte Gulfi (just north of Ragusa)
When? 17th August 2014

La Sagre del Mare
A fabulous fishy festival during which the townsfolk of Mazara del Vallo (whose fishing fleet is one of the biggest in the Mediterranean) celebrate the fruits of the sea. Enormous frying pans (3 metres in diametre and with 1-metre-long handles) are used to fry fish, prawns and squid. Boiled octopus is also served and lashings of local wine ensure that a good time is had by all!

Where? Mazaral del Vallo (on Sicily's west coast just south of Marsala)
When? Usually the 3rd week of August (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)

La Sagra del Tortone
This lovely local festival celebrates not only the local speciality, a traditional cake made with flower, yeast, olive oil and sugar, but also the events that took place in the town's castle in 1282 during the Sicilian Vespers. After a mediaeval procession, the cakes are taken up to the castle and duly divided amongst those present.

Where? Sperlinga in the Madonie Mountains
When?
Usually 16th August (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)



 

September

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Sherbeth Festival
If you like ice-cream, this festival is a must! Sherbeth, from the Arabic for frozen drink, celebrates the very best creations of the very best artisinal ice-cream and granita producers around... Yum! There are also concerts and other events.

Where? Cefalu
When? Usually first week of September (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)

CousCous Fest
The CousCous Fest  in San Vito Lo Capo is one of Sicily's most popular and international festivals, celebrating a dish that is eaten by millions and cooked in myriad different ways around the Mediterranean basin. The focus of the festival is a highly competitive cook-off with chefs arriving from Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Marocco, Paleestine, Israel, Egypt, Turkey the Ivory Coast and many other nations. Live music, dancing and a carnival atmosphere make the event  a must for anyone staying in western Sicily towards the end of September!

Where? San Vito Lo Capo (near Trapani on Sicily's most north-westerly point)
When? 23rd - 28th September 2014

Sagra della Salsiccia
Three days in celebration of the mighty sausage! Of course there are also stalls, fairground rides, music, a homage to the local patron saint, San Vincenzo, but the sausage reigns supreme!

Where? Aragona near Agrigento
When? 
Usually the second Sunday in September (exact 2014 dates not yet announced)

Grapes ripening in the hot Sicilian sun | Think Sicily

A host of golden arancini! Yum! | Think Sicily

An entry at the CousCous Fest in San Vito Lo Capo | Think Sicily

The Arabs started making ice-cream (sherbet)and granita over 1,000 ago using the snow from Mount Etna | Think Sicily

Sweet and sour Sicilian pepper tart | Think Sicily

Alessio Planeta checking that the wine is coming on nicely | Think Sicily

Tuna is caught off the Sicilian coast, especially at the time of the Mattanza at then Egadi Islands | Think Sicily

Fritella, a Palermitan recipe using peas, fava beans and artichokes | Think Sicily

Olives for sale in a Sicilian market | Think Sicily

Sagra del Pomodoro Ciliegino di Pachino in Sicily | Think Sicily

Sicilian ricotta cakes | Think Sicily

Sardines for sale  in Sicily | Think Sicily

Come to an orange sagra in Sicily! | Think Sicily

A delicious Sicilan chees | Think Sicily

Salami with pistachio | Think Sicily

A typically theatrical display of swordfish in a Sicilian market | Think Sicily

Just-fried aubergines ready for a Sicilian Parmigiana di Melanzana | Think Sicily