Palermo Mare Holidays | St. Cosma and Damiano’s feast in Sferracavallo – Palermo

St. Cosma and Damiano’s feast in Sferracavallo

The ballad of the saints and the fireworks

Every year, in the last week of September, the Feast of Saints Cosma and Damiano takes place in Sferracavallo. In addition to the sea and to the delicious food, you can enjoy the famous `”ballad of the saints” and the evocative “fireworks”. In this magical and engaging context, thousands of tourists arrive in Sferracavallo.

The location of Palermo Mare Holidays is ideal for enjoying the holidays. You will be able to see it directly from the balconies or terrace of the structure with a fantastic typically Sicilian atmosphere.

Palermo Mare Holidays offers apartments and rooms to spend your holiday, in the front row, for the patronal feast of the town of Sferracavallo in Palermo.

The famous feast of Sts. Cosma and Damiano takes place every year during the last week of September. From the front row, i.e. the balconies and terraces of the Palermo Mare Holidays tourist facility you can admire the feast of the patron saints of the village of Sferracavallo in its most beautiful phases: the exit of the saints from the church, the ballad with the orchestra and the final entrance.

During the festival, the heavy vara with the simulacra of the Saints is carried through the streets of the village by a large number of young people dressed in white with one red handkerchief tied to their sides and one around their necks, with bare feet.

The ballad of the saints and the fireworks

In ancient times, the celebrations of Saints Cosma and Damiano, protectors of the sick people and the fishermen of the village, took place at a rapid pace in order to bring the simulacra of the saints to all the sick who requested them, asking for freedom from illness or another particular grace. Today, the devotion of the believers brings many tourists from all over the world, especially emigrants abroad eager to see this magnificent event again.

The festival is not only a religious feast, but also a civil celebration: it includes, for example, the game of antinna a mari, a sort of maypole placed on the sea or the traditional and picturesque boat race. The latter is performed on the stretch of sea in front of the village, with flashy colored fishing boats, where each crew consists of four rowers and a helmsman who compete for the final trophy.

The most important day of the feast of Sts. Cosma and Damiano is the last Sunday of September when, around 2 pm, the start of the procession is announced by the continuous ringing of bells.

Hundreds of believers gather in front of the mother church of Sferracavallo to religiously support the peculiar moment of the exit of the martyrs from the sanctuary.

The burdensome vara with the simulacra of the holy martyrs is supported on the shoulders in the streets of the village by a large number of bearers dressed in white with two red scarves tied one to the hips and the other to the neck.

Immediately after the exit, the evocative “ballad” of the vara is performed accompanied by the musical band and the clapping rhythm of the people who extraordinarily crowd the square and balconies.

The procession ends late at night with the theatrical dance of the bearers of the vara and with its overwhelming ascent along via Mariana up to piazza Ss. Cosma and Damiano where the long-awaited “final ballad” is celebrated.

The pyrotechnic games (fireworks) performed in honor of the saints are among the most spectacular ones, and every year they attract to the seaside village an incredible number of spectators from all over the Palermo area.

BOOK now a room or an apartment in front of the church of Sferracavallo and discover the offers by calling

Ph. (+39) 349 6103555.

Palermo Mare Holidays

Via Torretta 7, Sferracavallo – Palermo

The Capo Gallo Marine Nature Reserve: between the sea, coves, beaches, jogging, trekking, biking and trails

Capo Gallo Riserva e percorsi

Visit to the Capo Gallo Marine Nature Reserve, Sferracavallo

The sensation that one gets when visiting this enchanted place is that of being in the heart of the Mediterranean. To visit the Reserve you can use the entrance from the Barcarello seafront in Sferracavallo (5 minutes from Palermo Mare Holidays).

The first typical aspect of this Reserve is the continuous alternation of coves and inlets where you can take a regenerating bath. At the tip of the reserve there is also a meadow and an equipped hut near the sea where you can sunbathe and swim in a unique naturalistic environment.

This reserve is a protected area which is important because of its marine flora and fauna, its geological features and other aspects of particular interest. For example, among its numerous caves (including marine ones), one of the most beautiful is the Grotta dell’Olio which opens out onto the water, whose seabed is rich in fauna and colorful vegetation and houses the wreck of a Carthaginian ship with a load of amphorae.

Outside the cave, on the right of the entrance, there are a series of small caves with rock colored by the red algae and sponges that grow on them.

Proceeding on the wall to the left instead, you come across a huge rock arch with a vault upholstered in orange madrepore.

The Capo Gallo Marine Nature Reserve can be visited every day on foot or by bicycle to rent on site through the routes marked in the appropriate tables that describe the intensity of the colors and the landscape that you will soon be able to enjoy.

The Capo Gallo Reserve takes its name from the homonymous Monte Gallo which separates the two gulfs of Mondello and Sferracavallo, homonymous tourist-seaside resorts of the city.

The protected marine natural area of Capo Gallo-Isola delle Femmine is today a place of tourist interest and offers a series of paths to be discovered alongside the sea. Here is the list (see image above):

1. Piano dello Stinco Trail

The path starts from a forest gate, located halfway up the slope, which can also be reached by car from the road that from Via Tolomea goes up to the mountain. Proceed inside a coniferous forest and on the left beyond the valley you will see the remains of the Tower Amari, commonly called Dammusu. Once in Piano dello Stinco, the path continues along the entire plateau among Lentisk, Pine, Cypress, Carob trees, as well as Ampelodesma, Spiny Asparagus, Stracciabrache.

After passing the plateau it continues downhill and intersects with the path that descends towards Bauso rosso (path no. 2), turning left it continues to a basin where the path of the Coda di Volpe path ends and begins.


h= 2,00 min.= 00



1A. Semaforo (Traffic light) trail

It starts from a fork in path n°1 at an altitude of 457 m. approximately, and leads to the Semaforo, a building once used as a lookout point by the military and which could become an ornithological observatory in the future. Entering the building, the visitor will find a peculiar, laborious work: almost all the walls of the building are covered with mosaics created by a strange local character, called the hermit; already from the gate and along the entire path that leads to the building, traces of this work can be seen in the small mosaics that frame the figures of saints.


h= 00 min.= 20

DIFFICULTY: Medium-low


1B. Panoramic Point Trail

After the Semaforo path (n° 1a), at about 160 mt. you cross a second path along which, at times, traces of rabbits and wild boar tracks are visible. Further on it is possible to see a small whirlpool used as a watering hole by these animals; after a short climb you arrive on a plateau located on the top of the vertical walls overlooking the sea, where the visitor (in good visibility conditions) can see the Aeolian Islands, the island of Ustica and San Vito lo Capo with the Zingaro nature reserve.


h= 00 min.= 10



2. Bauso Rosso Trail

The route begins shortly after the gate of trail n° 1, it enters a valley among pine trees, cypresses, some eucalyptus and some holm oak trees higher up, proceeding to reach a clearing. The flora that has colonized the calcareous rocks is interesting: Erba Perla, Navel of Venus, Vedovina Trapanese.

After passing a first fork that leads to path no. 1, continuing on, you come across a second fork where the Piano dello stinco and Bauso rosso trails join in a single path up to the pool.


h= 1,00 min.= 50



3. Coda di Volpe (Foxtail) trail

This trail begins near the water puddle and continues downhill in a valley among pines, cypresses, ampelodesma and the elongated Penniseto. The route develops on a very tortuous track, with steep slopes.

The trail arrives close to the houses of Mondello near the Via Tolomea barred by a private gate.


h= 1,00 min.= 10

DIFFICULTY: Medium-high


4. Pietra Tara Trail

It starts from the reception point, it develops between the coast and the slopes of Monte Gallo. The trail is characterized by several clusters of shrubs and bushes, such as arborescent Euphorbia, the Aleppo Ruta and groups of trees, Pines, Olives, Carobs.

Along the path it is possible to see an ancient Calcara, a tank called Urico, which has become a refuge for a hidden minor fauna and for the Emerald Toad. Once in the Puntazza bay, the path continues along a path between the rocks until it reaches Pietra Tara.


h= 00 min.= 55



5. Costa Sparavento trail

It starts from the Pietra Tara trail and develops along a track opened in the 1960s, among vegetation made up of Holm oak, Olivastro, Alaterno, the harsh and very tenacious Stracciabrache, the thorny asparagus and large groups of Ampelodesma. At about 1190 meters. the trail forks in two directions: one arrives near the Sparavento valley at the panoramic point, the other continues downwards and joins trail n° 5a on a plateau.


h= 10 min.= 30

DIFFICULTY: Medium-low


5A. Seagull Path

The trail develops from a fork in the Pietra Tara path about 130 meters from the entrance and goes through American agave, pine, arborescent euphorbia plants, runs alongside a large masonry water tank and arrives in a plateau where it is possible to stop in the shade of pines.


h= 00 min.= 8



6. Trail of the Cavaddari

This path of great historical importance develops between the coast with its bizarre morphologies and the main Pietra Tara path from which it begins, ending at the Puntazza rest area. Along the short route, on some stretches, there are the remains of the paving that formed the path bordered by stone walls. In addition to the dwarf palms, the path is full of a variegated species of herbaceous trampling plants.


h= 00 min.= 10



7. Marinella-Faro (lighthouse) trail

It can be reached from Mondello, past the main square and skirting the town up to the small crossroads on the right. The path begins on a private road, barred by a gate and continues up to the Capo Gallo Lighthouse, currently in disuse, future Marine Biology station. The slope is full of numerous cavities and caves with great archaeological and palaeontological interest.


h= 01 min.= 05




For further info tel. (+39) 349 6103555 e-mail: