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 had 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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