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The Holy Week: a two-hundred-year-old rite in Caltanissetta

28.03.2010 - 04.04.2010

Caltanissetta - from 28 March to 4 April 2010: re-enacts Christ’s Passion with rites, prayers, culture and folklore in a unique atmosphere..

Miniature Vara by Salvatore Iacono (

Miniature Vara by Salvatore Iacono

Week-long celebrations - the same ones for two hundred years - kindle Caltanissetta religious sentiment in preparation for Easter, with rites originating from folklore, through processions, music, icons, plays.
On Holy Wednesday, for example, there is the traditional “Real Maestranza”: an event involving the most ancient crafts and trades in town; its name “Maestranza” derives from the word “mastri”, the master craftsmen, and it was granted the title “Reale” (Royal) by King Ferdinand IV Bourbon in 1806, because, during a visit, he was impressed by the beauty of the festival.
The old town is the natural stage for the most important events of the Holy Week: it is here, that the procession of the “Vare” is held; these are sixteen impressive groups of statues representing the moments of Christ’s Passion and Death, which parade in the streets until after midnight on Holy Thursday; and it is always here, that it is held the procession of the black Christ (so-called because of the dark colour of the ebony it is made of); the statue is put into a precious golden canopy, carried on the shoulders by “Fogliamari” (wild herb gatherers), while singing very sad and moving “lamintanze” (songs of passion).

Useful information

During the whole Holy Week there are religious events involving the whole town.
For details, visit

How to get there

By car:
A19 motorway to Caltanissetta.
If you are coming from the South: SS640  

By train:
Caltanissetta station is connected to the national railway network (  

By plane:
Catania International Airport (130 km)
Palermo International Airport (180 km).