Buscemi is a small town in Syracuse of less than a thousand inhabitants, located 761 metres above sea level.
Inhabited since protohistory, its tradition is linked to the Anapo Valley and the first news about it dates back to the Arab period. Today it looks like a baroque town, typical of the area, as the place was also completely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693.
If you wish to visit Buscemi, you should know that there is a beautiful museum called “The places of the peasant”‘ in which you can follow an ethno-anthropological itinerary that involves the entire town and has made it famous throughout Europe. Inside, there are several museum units, one for each of the main activities that were carried out in the area in ancient times. There is the blacksmith’s workshop, the farm labourer’s house, the farmer’s house, the millstone, the carpenter’s workshop, the boilermaker’s workshop, the shoemaker’s workshop, the jug tanner’s workshop, but there is also the didactic workshop on the wheat cycle, the documentation centre on popular life in the Ibla region and a wonderful water mule called ‘Santa Lucia’ (which, however, is part of Palazzolo Acreide territory).
Buscemi also has a heritage of four churches that we highly recommend you visit.
The Church of San Giacomo, which is a late Baroque church now used as a setting for conferences, exhibitions and cultural initiatives.
The Church of San Sebastiano, which was completely rebuilt after the terrible earthquake of 1693. The beautiful terrace enclosed by an elegant balustrade is accessible through a gate, which has two stone lions on either side to protect it.
The Church of St Anthony of Padua suffered heavy collapse in the 1693 earthquake. Only one order of the three planned in Cultraro’s design was rebuilt.
The incomplete Church of the Carmine, in which an important 16th-century sculpture depicting the Annunciation is still preserved.
Festivals and celebrations
The Ricotta Festival is held in April, during the last Sunday. Stands are set up with dairy products other than ricotta, and typical local products such as olives, dried tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. The event takes place in the main street of Buscemi, but the square is the real centre of the festival where there are musical performances to entertain tourists.
The Festa del Crocifisso takes place on the first Sunday in May, when a procession starts from the Chiesa del Carmine, ending with a song and a rosary.
On the penultimate weekend in August, the museum holds a unique night-time opening, which is particularly beautiful to see, during which one can watch the staging of the work of the sections.
The Feast of Our Lady of the Wood, and Patron of Buscemi, takes place on the last Sunday in August. During the procession of the Madonna, carried bare-breasted on the shoulders of devotees, the same historical routes are traversed and naked children are raised to the simulacrum. The festival ends the following morning, when a ballad precedes the statue’s entrance back into the church and the ‘nzareddi’ are thrown as it passes.