Next week, on the 19th February, the Siracusan city of Noto will celebrate its Patron Saint and protector, San Corrado. Corrado Confalonieri originated from 14th century Piacenza and chose to leave all of his possessions behind to become a Franciscan monk and undertake a pilgrimage across Italy. He eventually retreated to a grotto in Noto and lived his life as a reclusive hermit. He was known as a kind, generous man who performed many miracles and when he died on the 19th February 1351, legend has it that the church bells started to ring of their own accord.
|Church of San Corrado - Valley of the Miracles|
Corrado was made a Saint on the 28th August 1515 and his mortal remains are carried through the streets of Noto in both February and August to commemorate his life and good deeds. These celebrations are renowned as being among the most poignant on the island of Sicily and thousands of Sicilians come to the town each year in honour of the Saint; many of the devoted followers choose to follow the procession barefoot. A marching band leads the procession and in the evening there is a spectacular firework display which can be witnessed from miles around.
The city of Noto is famous for its 18th Century buildings including the beautiful cathedral and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can read about Noto's annual flower festival which takes place in May in last year's blog post - http://sicilianconnections.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/baroque-noto-in-bloom.html.
Enjoy this Italian video documentary about last August's San Corrado festival in Noto, made by a local news team -
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