The “festino” in July
“Viva Palermo and Santa Rosalia!” This is the cry that accompanies the people of Palermo during the 5 days of celebration, from the 10th to the 15th of July. Five days of celebration characterized by the parade of the triumphal chariot and always culminating with spectacular fireworks.
Santa Rosalia and the liberation from plague
According to tradition, Santa Rosalia belonged to the noble Sinibaldi family, and lived at the court of King Roger until she decided to retire as a hermit on Mount Pellegrino. The legend goes that the saint appeared in a dream to a hunter indicating where he could find his relics that, if taken in procession, would stop the plague epidemic in the city. And so it was that in 1624 Santa Rosalia became the patron saint of Palermo, even ousting Santa Cristina, Santa Oliva, Santa Ninfa and Sant’Agata.
The parade of the Triumphal Chariot
The Triumphal Chariot is the heart of the party. It is a real contemporary work that not only wants to represent the glory of the Saint but also the glory of the city that wants to triumph over the evils that afflict it, just like St. Rosalia did with the plague. The cart dragged by oxen has the shape of a vessel with a statue of St. Rosalia represented in the full of its glory. On it there are also musicians who accompany the parade with their music. On July 15th, the relics of the Saint contained in a precious silver urn are carried in procession through the streets of the city, accompanied by important moments of prayer.
Like every self-respecting Sicilian city, Palermo also boasts a culinary tradition that enriches these days of celebration! Stop by the streets of Palermo to taste typical street food: ‘u sfinciuni, ‘u muluni (watermelon) or calia e simenza (chickpeas and pumpkin seeds). And if you stop for lunch in one of the excellent places in the city order the pasta with sardines, you will not regret it!
Do not miss the opportunity to participate in the feast of Santa Rosalia! If you can not come to Palermo in these five days of July, book a cultural tour with us, we will take you to discover the beauty of Palermo!