Celebration of the Tonnara

The celebration of the Tonnara dates back to 27 June 1407, when King Martino donated to the Prince of San Piero Patti – Don Berengario Orioles – the section of the sea named Sancti Georgii, to drop the tonnara (tuna-fishing net), palamitara and more. For this reason every year in June we celebrate it, by orginising different activities to recall our traditions and the story of the ancient Tonnara.

It starts with a walk through the streets of our town to the ruins of the ancient Tonnara, as anchores, boats, palascarmi (old boats used to fish) and utensils, to explain their uses and story. You can find pieces of the story of the Tonnara in every single corner of San Giorgio. The last step of the walk is the Tonnara: here fishers tell stories to preserve the identity and the story of the Tonnara. The event is also an opportunity to think about the benefits of bluefish, whose our sea is rich.

At the end of the event you can sing and dance, enjoy typical products of our hamlet and the excellence of our amazing sea.


The first edition of the Carnival of Gioiosa Marea dates back to 1950. It is an entertainment and amusement moment for people and it is known in the surroundings because of the beauty of the allegorial floats, which parade through the streets of the town.

The carnival starts with the day of the Racchia, in which a group of musiciants dressed in extravagant ways include people with music and colours. In the following days there is the celebration of the traditional mask, which is the Murgo. The story of this mask comes from South America: in the second postwar period the captain Turi Zampino, coming back from Argentina, introduced this custom, from which the identity of the carinval of Gioiosa originates. He was inspired by the argentinian Murga – orchestra which entertained people with typical folk dances – and so he created a character with tailcoat and top hat, who dances while he plays violine. This character infact, represents the chief of a small colourful and bizarre street orchestra, which cheers up the atmosphere by singing and dancing. The Murgo became the representative mask of Gioiosa Marea and it gave its name to a gastronomic specialty, which is a first course with the colours of the Murgo: red, white and black. This is created by sicilian chefs and it is made up of linguine with squid ink and tomato sauce, enriched by the singualr taste of the wild fennel and other flavours and parfumes of Sicily.

Band music, shows and games enrich the festive atmosphere. Finally, the last day of the carnival takes place in San Giorgio, where together with amusement and dances, you can enjoy maccheroni.

Celebration of the Harvest

The celebration of the harvest is organised by the cultural Association “La Spiga” (Spike); it is a journey through the ancient traditions and jobs in the agricolture sector. It starts with the visit in a small museum, which shows old objects and utensils, as sickle and mallet. During this journey you can learn the stages to make bread: it starts with an oral explanation, in which experts talk about the grain processing – from planting to threshing – then there is a practical step, in which you can see the harvest process and, later, the preparing of bread. There are also other activities you can enjoy, as games, folk music and songs, but also a pastry competition, where you can eat as well. The celebration goes on during the next months until threshing and, finally, until testing of the products.

Gioiosa Gustosa

Gioiosa Gustosa (Tasty Gioiosa) is a celebration dedicated – as its name says – to the typical tastes of our territory: you can taste the specialities made by experts of the sector through a gastronomic itinerary. Through the streets of Gioiosa Marea you can enjoy an event totally dedicated to quality food, an eco-friendly variety of local products based on tradition and,also, you can meet the producers. The aim of this event is to value handmade products and the traditional flavours of Nebrodi, enjoying good music.

Ottava di Pasqua

The Ottava di Pasqua (so called because it takes place 8 days after Easter) is a celebration which recalls the exodus of the people from the Mount Meliuso to “Ciappe di Tono”, that is Gioiosa Marea. Infact after famine and earthquakes, the inhabitants of Gioiosa Guardia abandoned their houses. They moved in 1797 and, exactly 8 days after Easter, they brought with them the simulacra of their Patron Saint, San Nicola of Bari, of the Madonna delle Grazie and of San Giuseppe. Since then, every year on the 8th monday after Easter, a procession is celebrated, where citizens carry on the three simulacra through the streets of Gioiosa Marea, but only the Patron San Nicola gets to the bridge Zappardino; from here it turns to the Mount of Gioiosa Guardia to bless it and, then, it turns to the sea. The celebration ends going back to the main Church.