In Sicily, Easter is celebrated with great passion. The city of Trapani holds an emotional 20-hour procession in its streets with men carrying heavy “Misteri” statues that are 500 years old and tell the story of Christ’s suffering. In San Biagio Platani a village in interior Sicily, huge construction made from natural material only, such as grains, bamboos and even pasta are created by two competitive groups, the Madunnara (named for the Madonna) and the Signurara (named for the Lord). While in Prizzi the Devil Dance takes places in the town’s streets. Men with colorful masks representing death and the Devil stand between mother Mary and Christ, preventing them from meeting but eventually fail as the crowd cheers for the happy ending. On Easter Monday in San Martino Della Scala, a small hidden village in the mountains, the monks of the Benedictine Monastery release birds saved from the harsh winter as they do each Easter, in a tradition that is more than 300 years old.
Off the Beaten Path segment takes us to the stunning landscapes of Sicily including the mythical Etna volcano, ancient Greek ruins in Selinunte and the Phoenician settlement in Mozia Island, adjacent to Marsala salt marshes.
Culinary Delights includes Ricotta making from fresh sheep’s milk, and at Palazolo pastry shop in the town of Cinisi the making of the Sicilian Casata cake.