Hidden gems of Sicily: Scicli; Ray Bondin; Times of Malta

Italy – Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)

Even the Madonna rides a horse in this World Heritage town

This year I was asked to preside over the jury to choose the most beautifully flower-covered horse in the Cavalcata di San Giuseppe in Scicli, a town which got its World Heritage status in 2002, a process I was pleased to be involved in.

I was told that only a few horses would compete but when the day came over 400 paraded down the baroque town. “But this is a small city,” I told the mayor. “Well, around 1,000 horses are registered at the municipality, but we know there are close to 4,000 (not counting the donkeys, mules, etc.). After all, even our Madonna rides a horse!” he said.

Yes, the famous Madonna of Scicli is dressed as a soldier and rides a horse, quite unique in the world. The legend says that when the Normans were trying to retake the city, Our Lady came down on a white horse to defend the Christians. The feast of the Madonna delle Milizie is one of the many amazing celebrations held in this city.

Read more from source: Hidden gems of Sicily: Scicli

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