We arrived in Siracusa just a few days before the major religious celebration of the city – the Santa Lucia procession. I’d read so much about Santa Lucia a Christian martyr who was killed in the Fourth Century and was genuinely excited that we would be in Siracusa to witness it. As I tweeted, sitting watching the people outside the Cathederal, I did feel the excitement building.
All morning the street vendors had been setting up to sell their wares – sweets, balloons, souvenirs of the festival, toys and mobile phone covers. There were also craft markets and special food stores where we bought some locally produced mandarin marmalade and thyme flavored honey.
Our wonderful Airbnb hosts invited us as their guests to join them for lunch with their friends at the fabulous Caseificio Borderi Eleftria. Another market plate but this time we had desert! We will be the size of houses if we keep having the market plate.
From there we joined the crowds as they flocked towards the Cathedral, where the statue of Santa Lucia is located for all but one week of the year. There was no chance of us getting to the piazza as it was already to crowded. One of our host’s friends suggested another vantage point for us to watch the procession. It was quite a sight and for many in the crowd quite an emotional occasion.
At regular intervals members of the brotherhood cry “Sarausana jè” (She is born in Syracuse) to which the response is “Evviva Santa Lucia (Cheer Santa Lucia).
Our first sight of, the object of attention, Santa Lucia was at about 4.15 and then again at our apartment about two and half hours later. She had covered about 500 metres in that time! Apparently, the procession finishes at the piazza Santa Lucia optomistically at 9.30pm but more likely at midnight!
There isn’t any doubt that the whole of Siracuse turned out for the procession but I’m not sure it wasn’t the whole of Sicily. Definitely a day to remember.
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