The July 14 procession
After days of float preparation, alter-decorating, and (of course!) street food snacking, citizens fill downtown streets on the evening of July 14 to see the theater, music, dance, parading, and fireworks of Santa Rosalia.
Built in 1184, Palermo's cathedral on Corso Vittorio Emanuele has since been shaped by Gothic, Catalan, and Neoclassical forces. Here, the ivory walls glowed with fire-like lights, dancers took to the balustrades, and a storyteller backed by soaring orchestral music gave a performance honoring the good fortune Santa Rosalia has bestowed on the city.
The crowd follows the floats down to the water, where music and fireworks fill the night. The good energy of the night is so infectious that even when I eventually fell asleep, in an apartment a few blocks away, I couldn't complain about the (lullaby of) laughter, music, and conversation as it continued into the wee hours.
The day after the procession, Giacomo and I went to the nearby resort town of Mondello (7 km from downtown Palermo) to shoot a time-lapse of Monte Pellegrino. When he said we were stopping for an ice-cream sandwich, I expected a gelato-filled version of the cardboard chocolate crackers we have in America. Instead, he ordered this brioche-like treat, here with nutella and pistachio gelato.
This film project is produced by the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School in the heart of Sicily. We hope to chronicle the many saint festivals in Sicily and how they support slow food cultures on the island. We anticipate that it will hit film festivals and be available for sale in 2015. This website and blog are to chronicle our progress for our financial supporters, followers, and friends.