Holy Week and Easter Sunday in SICILY

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PARTENZE
data 31.12.2017
On request €
PROGRAMMA VIAGGIO
Day 1 – Good Friday
+

A trip to Enna: the highest capital in Italy will enchant you! Beautiful nature and amazing sites to visit: the Cathedral was built in 1307 at the behest of Queen Eleanor of Anjou, then rebuilt and embellished later on. Once a national museum, since 2008 it is mentioned as “Place of Peace” by Unesco. Its interior, with three naves, has a splendid wooden coffered roof, decorated by Andrea Russo Collesano.

Then, the symbol of the town, one of the largest medieval castles in Italy. Built atop the ruins of the ancient acropolis and the Byzantine, Arabic and Norman fortifications, it is divided into three large courtyards and a ravelin (triangular fortress). These can work as separate castles and are equipped with several towers and structure for the military presence and the residence of the court. The Tower of Federico, surrounded by the homonymous city park, is a castle-like medieval building. It consists of the ruins of a vast walled octagonal area opened up to two arched doors at the centre where there is a tall tower, which is also octagonal. The tower inside has Swabian architectural features that trace the construction back to the Kingdom of Frederick II of Swabia.

 

Holy Week in Enna is among the religious events of Sicily that you cannot miss! A cultural heritage of the Spanish domination in the island, it involves most of the male population of the city. The “hooded”, so called due to the hood that hides their faces, grouped in 16 brotherhoods originally engaged in ancient crafts, give life to a series of events culminating in the Good Friday procession. Nearly 2500 brethrens, in a quiet and composed procession, involve the whole city. In the silence of citizens and traffic you can only hear the mournful notes of the band and the buzz of people who attend the passage of the brethrens with the banners of Our Lady of Sorrows‘ and the Dead Christ‘s Reliquary Confraternities . On Good Friday afternoon everything stands still: at 04:00 pm the brotherhoods start the path that runs through the village. “La Paesana” (the fog, so called by the citizens of Enna) makes the atmosphere even more solemn.

Day 2 – Holy Saturday
+

A trip to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, UNESCO World Heritage since 1997 and beautiful archeological site. The actual core of the archaeological site of Agrigento lies in the area of the magnificent temples. The Temple to Zeus – or Jove the Olympian – and the only remaining ruins of which are its base and principal altar, was one of the biggest Greek temples in Antiquity. The oldest temple in Agrigento is, rather, that of Heracles or Hercules, while the best-preserved is that of the Concordia, probably the most impressive Greek Doric temple still extant in our day, after Athens’s Parthenon. The structure was adapted as a Christian church, evidence of which can be seen in the tombs excavated in the ground. The Temple to Hera Lacinia (or Juno) was built contemporarily to the Concordia, and it was severely damaged by a fire towards the end of the 5th Century B.C.; the Temple to Hephaestus or Vulcan, which faces the former temple across a pool that is fed by an aqueduct; the Temple to Isis, from the late Augustan-Tiberian period; the temple dedicated to Demetra alone and connected to the Rupe Atenea, the highest point of the city (that is, the ancient acropolis); the Sanctuary of Asclepius - the Greek god of medicine - a center for therapeutic rites; and, finally, the Temple to Athena, today part of the Church of Santa Maria dei Greci.

Day 3 – Easter Sunday
+

A trip to Modica and Scicli.

Easter in Modica is characterized by the celebration of “Madonna Vasa – Vasa”, one of the best attended festivals. Corso Umberto, full to capacity, is crossed by two processions that stat from the Church of Santa Maria di Betlem, with a statue of the “Risen Christ” and the other woth the statue of the “Madonna” covered by a black veil and accompanied by the band of the city. When the clock strikes midday, the two statues meet in Monument Square and have their traditional “vasata”, the kiss and symbolic embrace between them. This the highlight of the festival: the Madonna, ath the sight of the risen Christ, expands and tightens her arms in joy and disbelief, freed from the black cloak that enveloped her, a symbol of mourning, to show the classic light blue dress, while dozens of white doves hover in the air to seal the happiness of this happy event. This particular movement of the image of Our Lady, based on the model of the “Sicilian puppets”, has always fascinated the faithful and curious, making this a unique and original party.

Scicli is considered as one of the most important treasure of Sicily, a majestic baroque village: its old town center has been declared UNESCO World Heritage in 2002. This charming and fascinating village is widely renowned for some important celebrations like “Festa dell’Uomo Vivo” or “Gioia”, the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, taking place on Easter Day. The wooden Christ statue is paraded along the town’s streets and people make it sway and dance around as a sign of joy all day long and the “Cavalcata di San Giuseppe”, which is a medieval commemoration. 

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PROGRAMMA VIAGGIO
Day 1 – Good Friday
+

A trip to Enna: the highest capital in Italy will enchant you! Beautiful nature and amazing sites to visit: the Cathedral was built in 1307 at the behest of Queen Eleanor of Anjou, then rebuilt and embellished later on. Once a national museum, since 2008 it is mentioned as “Place of Peace” by Unesco. Its interior, with three naves, has a splendid wooden coffered roof, decorated by Andrea Russo Collesano.

Then, the symbol of the town, one of the largest medieval castles in Italy. Built atop the ruins of the ancient acropolis and the Byzantine, Arabic and Norman fortifications, it is divided into three large courtyards and a ravelin (triangular fortress). These can work as separate castles and are equipped with several towers and structure for the military presence and the residence of the court. The Tower of Federico, surrounded by the homonymous city park, is a castle-like medieval building. It consists of the ruins of a vast walled octagonal area opened up to two arched doors at the centre where there is a tall tower, which is also octagonal. The tower inside has Swabian architectural features that trace the construction back to the Kingdom of Frederick II of Swabia.

 

Holy Week in Enna is among the religious events of Sicily that you cannot miss! A cultural heritage of the Spanish domination in the island, it involves most of the male population of the city. The “hooded”, so called due to the hood that hides their faces, grouped in 16 brotherhoods originally engaged in ancient crafts, give life to a series of events culminating in the Good Friday procession. Nearly 2500 brethrens, in a quiet and composed procession, involve the whole city. In the silence of citizens and traffic you can only hear the mournful notes of the band and the buzz of people who attend the passage of the brethrens with the banners of Our Lady of Sorrows‘ and the Dead Christ‘s Reliquary Confraternities . On Good Friday afternoon everything stands still: at 04:00 pm the brotherhoods start the path that runs through the village. “La Paesana” (the fog, so called by the citizens of Enna) makes the atmosphere even more solemn.

Day 2 – Holy Saturday
+

A trip to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, UNESCO World Heritage since 1997 and beautiful archeological site. The actual core of the archaeological site of Agrigento lies in the area of the magnificent temples. The Temple to Zeus – or Jove the Olympian – and the only remaining ruins of which are its base and principal altar, was one of the biggest Greek temples in Antiquity. The oldest temple in Agrigento is, rather, that of Heracles or Hercules, while the best-preserved is that of the Concordia, probably the most impressive Greek Doric temple still extant in our day, after Athens’s Parthenon. The structure was adapted as a Christian church, evidence of which can be seen in the tombs excavated in the ground. The Temple to Hera Lacinia (or Juno) was built contemporarily to the Concordia, and it was severely damaged by a fire towards the end of the 5th Century B.C.; the Temple to Hephaestus or Vulcan, which faces the former temple across a pool that is fed by an aqueduct; the Temple to Isis, from the late Augustan-Tiberian period; the temple dedicated to Demetra alone and connected to the Rupe Atenea, the highest point of the city (that is, the ancient acropolis); the Sanctuary of Asclepius - the Greek god of medicine - a center for therapeutic rites; and, finally, the Temple to Athena, today part of the Church of Santa Maria dei Greci.

Day 3 – Easter Sunday
+

A trip to Modica and Scicli.

Easter in Modica is characterized by the celebration of “Madonna Vasa – Vasa”, one of the best attended festivals. Corso Umberto, full to capacity, is crossed by two processions that stat from the Church of Santa Maria di Betlem, with a statue of the “Risen Christ” and the other woth the statue of the “Madonna” covered by a black veil and accompanied by the band of the city. When the clock strikes midday, the two statues meet in Monument Square and have their traditional “vasata”, the kiss and symbolic embrace between them. This the highlight of the festival: the Madonna, ath the sight of the risen Christ, expands and tightens her arms in joy and disbelief, freed from the black cloak that enveloped her, a symbol of mourning, to show the classic light blue dress, while dozens of white doves hover in the air to seal the happiness of this happy event. This particular movement of the image of Our Lady, based on the model of the “Sicilian puppets”, has always fascinated the faithful and curious, making this a unique and original party.

Scicli is considered as one of the most important treasure of Sicily, a majestic baroque village: its old town center has been declared UNESCO World Heritage in 2002. This charming and fascinating village is widely renowned for some important celebrations like “Festa dell’Uomo Vivo” or “Gioia”, the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, taking place on Easter Day. The wooden Christ statue is paraded along the town’s streets and people make it sway and dance around as a sign of joy all day long and the “Cavalcata di San Giuseppe”, which is a medieval commemoration. 

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