Fodor's Expert Review Festa di Sant'Agata

Catania Free

Each February 3–5, the Festa di Sant'Agata honors Catania's patron saint with one of Italy's biggest religious festivals. The saint herself was first tortured, had her breasts cut off, and then killed, when she spurned a Roman suitor in favor of keeping her religious purity. Since then, the Catanesi have honored her memory by parading her relics through the streets of Catania on an enormous silver-encrusted carriage. Throughout town, you'll see the minne di Sant'Agata in pastry shops. These supersugary confections (sponge cake with sweetened ricotta, candied orange, and chocolate chips, covered in fondant, and topped with a candied cherry) are meant to symbolize Agata's breasts. The entire festival is highly affecting, even for nonbelievers, and is not to be missed by February visitors.

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Catania, Sicily  Italy

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