Thursday, June 21, 2012

Il Festino di Santa Rosalia

Santa Rosalia
Palermo's patron saint, Santa Rosalia, is honored every year on the 15th of July, and the city is in full swing with preparations for the event!  Santa Rosalia is said to have spared the city of Palermo from the ravages of the plague after her remains were taken down from the mountain and venerated in the city. The people continue this tradition today with a magnificent parade and celebrations that begin in the first days of July and culminate with a parade on the night of the 14th into the 15th of July!

The Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia is located atop Monte Pellegrino.  There's a road that will take you up or you can walk the up the sanctuary (be sure to take some water with you and do it early in the morning on those hot days!).  The sanctuary is always packed full of tourists, pilgrims and the devout, many who crawl their way into the sanctuary.

If you have the chance, take a trip up the mountain (either by driving or walking). The views of the sea and of Palermo are spectacular!  The sanctuary is also interesting in its construction within the original cave.  It is definitely an experience to remember.

Be sure to return in time for the procession, which makes it's from from the Palazzo dei Normanni, along the Cassaro (now the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele), stopping briefly at the Quattro Canti, and finally making its way to the sea, passing through the Porta Felice, as if crossing from death to life as the celebrations culminate with a magnificent fireworks show on the banks of the sea!
"Uno. Nutti e jornu farìa sta via!
Tutti. Viva Santa Rusulia!
U. Ogni passu e ogni via!
T. Viva Santa Rusulia!
U. Ca ni scanza di morti ria!
T. Viva Santa Rusulia!
U. Ca n'assisti a l'agunia!
T. Viva Santa Rusulia!
U. Virginedda gluriusa e pia
T. Viva Santa Rusulia!”
“E chi semu muti? Viva viva Santa Rusulia”.