Visit Sicily for the Festival of Sant'Agata in 2023.
21 Jan 2023
Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Greeks have all put their stamp on the island, creating a wealth of history and culture that sits amid a dramatic landscape.
Mild temperatures make Sicily a year-round destination, while the city of Catania attracts visitors from across the world who wish to experience the ancient Festival of Sant'Agata. Catania is a bustling city, full of beautiful Baroque architecture and a historic centre that's a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. What's more, on the doorstep is the beautiful Sicilian countryside.
Catanese holidays are the perfect time to soak up the atmosphere and excitement of popular traditions in Catania such as the Sant Agata's Festival. During this three-day February festival, up to one million followers take to the street as a silver reliquary of the saint is carried through the town. Spectacular fireworks, parades and street food are also highlights of the festival.
The history of the Sant'Agata Festival.
The origins of this Catania holiday go back to the days of Roman occupation. Agata was a teenager from a privileged family who decided to devote her life to religion rather than marrying. When she rejected the proposal of the Roman Proconsul Quintianus, she was subjected to violent persecution, which included brutal violence. She died on 5th February 251 A.D. and quickly became a cult figure, symbolic of Sicily's fight against Roman oppression.
Since her death, many miracles have been linked to her intervention. In 1169, Mount Etna erupted on the eve of her saint's day, and a flowing river of lava reached the town, where it was stopped by her veil that was being carried in procession. From that day forward, the festival has taken place every year between the 3rd and 5th February. During the festival, both locals and visitors carry lights through the city.
Gruppo UNA: your companion for Catanese holidays
Book a hotel with Gruppo UNA and you are sure of a warm Italian welcome as well as good food, elegant design, art and culture all before you step out of your hotel. The city centre location of the Palace Catania | UNA Esperienze makes it the perfect setting for enjoying traditions and events in Catania. The historic building has been sympathetically restored and delivers a balance of Sicilian style with contemporary comfort.