Sambuca Sicily gained public interest recently. Everyone is curious to know where to buy the 1 euro house. Is this media attention for real or one of those hoaxes spreading online? Casa 1 euro is certainly an existing city project in Sambuca and other parts of Italy. It aims to restore the economic as well as population status of the countrysides, often abandoned by the younger generations.
Featured photo credit: Rino Porrovecchio
Before you jump in and purchase your dream Italian home, make sure to know the correct guidelines and the right people to contact. The most important plan of action is also to get to know the place to see if it fits your desired lifestyle. We suggest visiting or perhaps stay for a month or so. Dive in to really enjoy and learn more about the city. Check out our list of amazing things to do in Sambuca Sicily to start your journey. We added both tourist and local favourites as well as off-the-beaten paths and secret escapes.
Sambuca di Sicilia is Sicily’s hidden gem, tucked in the hills of Valle del Belice and surrounded by woods and mountains. Whether you are here on vacation or planning to live for good, the quaint village will offer interesting sites to explore. From admiring the historic places to wandering the streets and trying the authentic Sicilian cuisines. Discover the best of this charming town with our list of 50 Things to do in Sambuca Sicily!
50 Things to do in Sambuca Sicily
1. Understand the history of Sambuca in Chiesa Madre
Perched on the oldest corner of Sambuca di Sicilia and overlooking the town is the newly reopened Chiesa Madre. The church was in reconstruction for 50 years due to the damages of the 1968 earthquake in Sicily. Today, it continues to be an important symbol of Sambuca’s heritage.
Chiesa Madre is one of the most historical places in Sambuca and what the locals fondly call ‘The Madrice’ or the Mother Church. The church together with the bell tower stands in the Arab ancient site of what used to be the Zabut Castle, the former residence of the Emir Zabut Al-Maghrebi. Built around 1420 and completed in 1651, the architecture of the Chiesa Madre is a great mix of Arab-Norman style, Renaissance and Sicilian Baroque.
2. Celebrate the town’s Saracen roots
Every year during August, the annual Saracen Feasts or Le Feste Saracene nel Borgo dei Borghi take place in Sambuca’s Arab quarter. It is a tradition celebrating the foundation of the city around 830. Sambuca di Zabut was the previous name of Sambuca di Sicilia after the name of its founding father Emir Al Zabut.
The festival features nights of circus shows and Arabian tales at Terrazzo Belvedere as well as a dramatic reenactment of narrated scenes on the streets of the old centre. It is also complete with music, wine, food tasting and so much fun.
3. Walk to the Archaeological site of Monte Adranone
Strategically located on the high ground of Monte Adranone are the remains of the ancient Greek-Punic city of Adranone. The ruins include the Tomba della Regina or queen’s tomb on the Necropolis, stacked walls, the living quarters and the sanctuary shrine of the Acropolis. Walking up to the setting is a bit difficult but worth it. You can find an archaeological road less travelled but well-loved by history buffs.
The ancient settlement in Monte Adranone was formed around 5th century B.C. Although not as popular as the other primaeval zones such as Akragas’ Valley of the Temples and Selinunte, it is as significant. Research suggests that it played a key role during the first Punic war. The area is constantly revealing fascinating facts and stories of the past.
4. Watch a classical show under the stars
Last August, the ‘Le Troiane‘ or The Trojan Women production held their classical performance at the Adranone ancient site in Sambuca. It was an open-air stage. Embellished by the breathtaking landscape of Valle del Belice and incredible beauty of the ancient ruins, from sunset to star rise, the show was a success.
It was attended by 500 spectators and we expect that this was only the first of the many more shows. Maybe you will be on the audience seat next time! Inquire with the museum if there is a scheduled show during your visit and don’t forget to bring a pillow to watch comfortably.
5. Examine artefacts at Palazzo Panitteri Museum
Palazzo Panitteri Museum is a 16th-century building inside the historic centre Sambuca Sicily. It used to be an outpost tower turned into a noble estate and transformed into a museum of great value.
The museum, divided into rooms, exhibits the collections of artefacts found in Monte Adranone and further excavation programme related to early Christians and Saracens that dominated the town. From ceramic fragments to household utensils, items for rituals and stone bullets. There is also an internal courtyard with a garden that showcases various Mediterranean plants. Ticket to the museum is € 4, please contact the museum for any questions.
6. Attend a Mass at Chiesa del Carmine
Chiesa del Carmine is the main place of worship in Sambuca, dedicated to their patron saint Maria SS. della’Udienza. The church is in Corso Umberto I along with the other monumental structures of the city.
Its interior in white and gold is as riveting as its miraculous account. Since 1575. the sanctuary houses the statue of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus which is believed to heal the sick through prayers. A feast honouring Our Lady of the Audience is also observed in Sambuca every third Sunday of May for 400 years.
7. Join the rituals for the Feast of Madonna dell’Udienza
The Feast of Madonna dell’Udienza commemorates the mystery of the patron saint. In 16th century, many parts of Sicily were in grief because of the plague epidemic. It was also at this time that the sculpture of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus was discovered inside a tower. In faith that the saint would aid the inflicted and perform a miracle, the locals paraded the statue throughout the neighbourhood. This ritual has been practised for almost half a century which locals count upon their patron saint for guidance and mercy.
The event covers the procession of the statue carried and followed by the devotees from day to dawn. Passing the main streets with prayers, religious music and band, it’s a sacred occasion every Sambucese cherishes. Musical concerts, horse races, parades and fireworks display are also organized.
8. Be amazed by the Saint Catherine church
The Chiesa di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria was a gift from the aristocrat Giovanni Domenico Giacono of Ireland. As a sign of his fidelity, he donated the building to the Church together with the remains of the old Benedictine monastery and his inheritance.
Outside, the church has a very simple architecture but going inside, it is in elaborate Baroque style. With notable work of arts created by known local artists such as Fra Felice da Sambuca and Vincenzo Messina.
9. Sweet escape at Cafe Giglio
Around 10 minutes walking from the Chiesa del Carmine is the pastry and gelateria store of Cafe Giglio. The bar is one of the best in town serving breakfast goodies like croissants and a hot coffee, sweet delights such as cannoli, biscotti and cassata. There are also quick lunch options, a panini or any rosticceria.
10. Appreciate modern arts with textile sculptures
The Museo delle Sculture Tessili is a contemporary textile museum founded by French artist Sylvie Clavel. Clavel’s creative fabric works involve an arresting harmony of design and culture. You can see that every piece of the textile sculptures was elaborately formed. It is as if they are bringing us the image on how the artist calmly weaved the fibres and visualize the artwork. She also partnered tribal masks made by African artisans on the larger statues.
11. See the art collections of a master painter
Fra Felice da Sambuca
12. Watch at a theatrical show at Teatro L’Idea
Jewel of Sambuca