Book online

Search »
English English
by Orient-Express
Next photograph
Villa Sant`Andrea Hotel, Sicily, Italy

Folklore & Traditions

Sicilian traditions are as fascinating as its land: coloured carts, proud puppets, the ancient "mattanza" and much more.

Sicilian Carts
Those ornate, colourful two-wheel carts are usually drawn by horses or donkeys, used for hauling miscellaneous light loads, and also for festive occasions such as weddings and parades.
Carts are covered in carvings and brightly painted scenes from Sicilian history and folklore, as well as intricate geometrical designs. These scenes also served the purpose of conveying historical information to those who were illiterate. Miniature carts are often sold as souvenirs, and often you can see traditional parades along the towns' main streets.

Puppet Theatre
A popular tradition in the island’s artistic scene is the puppet theatre, with shows often depicting battles between the Saracens and the Christians in the Middle Ages. These historical episodes represent values that are important to Sicilians, such as chivalry, honour, justice, faith and love. A number of shops in Taormina sell beautiful, hand-crafted puppets, enabling you to take home an authentic slice of Sicilian culture.

The Ancient "Mattanza"
The Mattanza is the island's traditional method of catching bluefin tuna. Throughout May and June, fish are herded into nets along the Sicilian coast—a dramatic sight. Despite the frenzy that ensues, it is, in fact, an environmentally sustainable way to catch fish.

Contact us for more inspiration or to organize a visit.


Features & Offers

Eclectic Characters

Eclectic Characters

Discover what makes Villa Sant'Andrea so special and enjoy our new Eclectic Characters video! More »
Grand Tour of Italy

Grand Tour of Italy

Explore the splendours of Italy with one flat rate, available at all Orient-Express Hotels in Italy. More »
Special Promotion for Meetings and Events

Special Promotion for Meetings and Events

Valid for April and October 2013 More »