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Santa Lucia Saint Lucy Day, Siracusa, Sicily 2021

The smell of December the 13th in the air, the nourishing atmosphere amongst the locals anticipating the arrival their very own Saint from Siracusa. December the 13th, or 'Santa Lucia Day' (Saint Lucy) is a day marking the Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution. She has become the face of December in Siracusa and all things festive leading up to Christmas. Santa Lucia has been venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox churches around the globe.

Children wake on this morning to find small gifts of nuts, oranges and dried fruits, but the main tradition sees locals gathering together, dressed in beautiful long, white simple dresses, holding candles or torches. A marching band adds musical joy to this already showcase of a parade. The endless sea of faithful locals wind their way along the small picturesque streets of Ortigia and Siracusa and back again a week later. Read more for specific 2021 details and for what happens during normal years.

Santa Lucia Day, Siracusa 2021 ~ Dates, Times & Listings

In normal years, this annual celebration sees a day off for the Siracusans, many of who are either participants or attendees of the processions, but what with covid in 2021 continuing the schedule has been altered again. If it were a normal year, the silver statue would be taken from the main cathedral in Piazza Duomo in Ortigia where Saint Lucia has her resting place. A buzzy atmosphere whilst she is carried out on the shoulders of the devout and local 'green beret' men. She is carried majestically over to the Church of Saint Lucia 'al Sepolcro, in Piazza Santa Lucia which is a charming Sicilian square named in her memory, and outside of Ortigia by about a mile. The sight of the enormous statue held up high as she appears to glide across Ortigia and over the Umbertino bridge with all her followers is a wonderful testament to traditions, heritage and the positivity that religion can bring to communities.

The statue makes the return journey a week later back to the Cathedral in Ortigia. Dignitaries from the town, the police and mayor are part of this week long festival ending on December 20th 2021.

Church of Saint Lucia 'al Sepolcro'

Via Luigi Bignami, 1, Ortigia, Siracusa, 96100, Sicily, Italy

Opening times vary due to covid changes but normally from 9am apart from Thursday (10:30) to 12:45PM then reopens 15:30-19:00.

Contact: +39 0931 67946

On the days of the processions the piazza turns itself into a market selling a range of foods, local artisan products, homewares and vintage second have artefacts.

Santa Lucia 2021 ~ To & From Routes. Piazza Duomo, Ortigia & Piazza Santa Lucia


Situated at the end of the piazza near the cathedral Duomo in Ortigia, there is another church not to be missed, Chiesa di Santa Lucia alla Badia in Piazza Duomo, a beautifully painted, exquisitely tiled, elegant church, hosting Caravaggio’s 'Lucia's Death.' This church in honour of the patron saint of Siracusa has the name 'alla Badia' since it was originally the church of an abbey, called badia housing Cistercian nuns. The church also houses many artefacts connected to St. Lucia.

Entrance is free and the obvious rules requiring no photography and silence apply.

If you do make it to the church be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the endless photo opportunities that you wont find in guide books around the church. Just around the corner to the right leads you along just another small street and if you look up and to the right you will see a statue of the Virgin Maria horizontally aligned and facing to the sky. Most visitors to the street miss this work or art as the family of cats living below take the attention away from any upward gaze...

Read more: Caravaggio blog for more info about Caravaggio, art or Santa Lucia & churches

Today is the name day for all the ladies named Lucia or Lucianna and men with derivatives. Name days are almost like another birthday and match the day of the saints.

For more information of the best places to glimpse the statue, to enjoy the band or to see the mass of candles then please speak to the receptionist at the hotel, the staff are more than happy to share information that you can't find in guide books and speak a range of languages to make life simple.

Hotel Algila Ortigia Charme, 4 Star Superior 93 Via Vittorio Veneto I-96100 Siracusa, Italy Phone (Italy) +39 0931 465186 E-mail


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