December 14, 2012

Ferla is a little town in the Syracuse provence of Sicily and it is a true gem. It’s not fancy, nor is it boastful. Ferla is humble and warm, it’s sunshine and family.

Most people touring Sicily would not think to visit this little town, purely for the fact that it is not one that pops up in many tourist guides. But that says nothing of it’s charm, we adored our visit. So why did we visit Ferla? Well, our lovely friends who encouraged us to visit Ortigia (endless thank yous for that) have family there. Again, endless thank yous for this encouragement.

Rosa and Michael informed us of a very special day on the 20th of July, where the town gathers to celebrate their patron saint, Saint Sebastiano. Our friends said it was a feast for the eyes, something truly spectacular and touching. Ben and I absolutely new we had to attend.

And so this past July 20th, Ben and I headed to Ferla. What a real treat that was. At 12pm the statue is carried from the Church of San Sebastiano. Fireworks and streamers explode all around with such excitement and proud energy. The statue is then carried in procession around the main streets, with the townsfolk following. It was like nothing we have ever seen before. We felt so blessed to have experienced this day, this celebration with the locals, and to have met some of our dear friends’ family. How special. Let me share it with you…

Rosa and Michael said to grab a spot right opposite the church. And so early on we lined up in the eager heat and waited, brimming with excitement and anticipation.

And then it started…








The procession begins…

Here, meeting our friend’s Uncle. This was so special. Through a hearty communication barrier we promised to pass on his “baci!” (kisses) to his family back in Australia.

The aftermath…

And then, after all the colours and sounds and emotion, it was time to eat. Ben and I grabbed a park bench and enjoyed our packed lunch of sandwiches, collected in the morning from Caseificio Borderi at the Ortigia morning market.

We had ham, sundried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella. Smoked mozzarella….heaven.

And pecorino, prosciutto, grapes and balsamic reduction. Now that’s a ridiculous sandwich, right there. It was truly divine.

Ben and I then headed back to Ortigia, our hearts and souls happier, richer for having spent July 20th in Ferla.
Heidi xo

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  • Michael & Rosa Malignaggi December 14, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Heidi & Ben
    Thank you for your wonderful depiction of our beloved Ferla. Rosa and I are loving your blogs on Sicily. Love from Michael & Rosa.

  • Hannah December 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Oh! Oh oh! This is what I saw on Easter in Florence! A chariot pulled by bulls came into the main square, and then fireworks! Smoke! Kabang!

    'Cept you could actually see colour. The one I was at just turned the sky grey and smoky 😛

  • Not Quite Nigella December 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I love the photos that you got! I can see why you stopped there as they are so beautiful! 😀

  • leaf (the indolent cook) December 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    It does look like a very charming place indeed. Also, I share your smoked mozzarella love. So freakin' awesome.

  • The InTolerant Chef December 14, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    What an amazing spectacle indeed! So vibrant and colorful 🙂

  • Heidi December 15, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Rosa & Michael – thank YOU, lovely friends. It was such a dream xo

    Hannah – magic, isn't it?! 🙂

    Lorraine – thank you, lovely!

    Leaf – amazing, just amazing…

    InTolerant Chef – stunning 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Tiff December 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Nothing better than a ridiculously delicious food combination. Power to the daring, I say!

  • Iron Chef Shellie December 31, 2012 at 9:06 am

    awww how cute they left a comment!
    What an truly spectacular sight! I'm so glad you captured it and shared it on here. Love the bursts of colour…. although now hungry, so might have to go dig out some leftover xmas ham 😛

  • Heidi January 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Tiff – hehe amen, sister!

    Michele – hope it satisfied 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Patricia July 7, 2013 at 2:51 am

    I so enjoyed reading this post. My heart resides in Ferla. It is the birthplace of my grandfather, Sebastiano Montalto. I have visited cousins there many times and they always say when I leave…come again this year for the feast of San Sebastiano! Your words and pictures truly captured it.

    • Heidi July 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      How very lovely, Patricia, thank you so much for your comment. I hope you can visit for the feast of San Sebastiano soon! x

  • All the things we love – Apples Under My Bed December 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    […] in Palermo and tasting, feasting, learning and laughing. You’ll see our beloved Ortigia, Ferla and Scopello, and discover how to live and eat like a Sicilian. We love Sicily, Rosa loves Sicily […]