The Cannoli Festival returns to Piana degli Albanesi: Sicily’s sweetest event of the year

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“After an absence of twelve years, the sweetest culinary event in Sicily returns, the Cannolo Festival in Piana degli Albanesi. An event that will take place on Saturday, May 11th and Sunday, May 12th in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, strongly supported by the municipal administration of the Arbëresh community of Piana degli Albanesi and promoted by some local pastry chefs and those from nearby Santa Cristina Gela, with the aim of showcasing their flagship culinary product: the cannolo.

Piana degli Albanesi, a town in the province of Palermo, is one of the symbolic places for cannolo production in Sicily. The cannolo tradition is particularly rooted thanks to the influence of the Albanian community residing there. The cannolo from Piana degli Albanesi is mainly distinguished by the filling. While the classic filling is made of ricotta, sugar, and vanilla, the version from Piana degli Albanesi can contain additional ingredients such as chocolate chips. Each family and pastry shop has its own recipe for making the shell, the crispy part that holds the delicious filling in the typical shape that gives the dessert its name. Also well known is the cannolo from Santa Cristina Gela, a neighboring village to Piana, also of Arbëresh tradition, which differs from that of Piana degli Albanesi for the processing of the shell.

In addition to the Cannolo Expo, featuring the pastry shops Bar Elena, Extra Bar, Antico Bar Sport of Piana degli Albanesi and Caffè del Corso dei Fratelli Biscari and Soul Caffè of Santa Cristina Gela, with their famous cannoli, there will also be numerous stands offering local and regional culinary excellences and craft exhibitors. For visitors of the Festival, through coupons distributed at various locations along Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, there will be the opportunity to buy five cannoli for the price of four. This year there will also be a dedicated station for gluten-free cannoli and products with La mia Bakery from Cammarata.

The festival will also have a strong cultural connotation. In fact, during the two days of the event, it will be possible to visit many places of artistic and monumental interest in Piana degli Albanesi free of charge, in the presence of local guides who will explain their history. Among the attractions that can be visited are the Villa Comunale, the Cathedral, the Churches, the Borgo Sheshe (Open-Air Museum), and the Museum of the Church of San Giorgio. For hiking enthusiasts, on Saturday, May 11th at 9:30 am, there is a hike to the Serre della Pizzuta organized by the Legambiente Circle of Piana degli Albanesi.

There will be music and shows until late at night and cooking shows with the masters of Sicilian pastry such as Giovanni Cappello from the renowned Pasticceria Cappello in Palermo, whose name is listed in the prestigious Guide of Patisseries and Pastry Chefs of Italy by Gambero Rosso, the art pastry chef Giovanni La Rosa, who has won prestigious international awards with his chocolate sculptures, the young and talented pastry chef Fabrizio Cannone, and the chef Mario Ciulla of the Granofino restaurant in Agrigento, who will offer a new vision of the cannolo.

Among the in-depth events, on Sunday there is a conference titled “The iconic Sicilian sweet cannolo in the world”, with the participation of journalists, writers, and historians of Sicilian gastronomy. Among the highlights will be the sweetest culinary challenge ever, the “Man vs Cannoli”, a contest in which participants will try to push the limits of human gastronomy by eating a two and a half kilogram cannolo in the shortest time possible.

“Stimulating and satisfying – says the mayor of Piana degli Albanesi Rosario Petta – working closely with the local businesses to create the event that aims to assert the name of Piana degli Albanesi, in view of the integral promotion of our uniqueness now recognized internationally. The event, the Cannolo Festival 2024, stems from our attentive and caring administrative activities over the years in every aspect of the Arbëresh world, best represented by our community. Aware that only by combining careful management and planning and dialogue with commercial activities it is possible to achieve excellent results. This is thanks above all to the will of the master pastry chefs of the Cannolo from Piana degli Albanesi to organize the Cannolo Festival 2024”.

“After more than twelve years of absence – says the president of the municipal council of Piana degli Albanesi, Antonino Aclud – we are proud to have brought back the Cannolo Festival to Piana, an event that highlights our culinary excellence, the cannolo from Piana degli Albanesi. An event that represents, in addition to being a driving force for our city, also a cultural showcase through our artistic and monumental beauties that will be freely accessible for all visitors who come to Piana degli Albanesi during the two days of the festival”.

Ritorna la Sagra del Cannolo a Piana degli Albanesi: l’evento più dolce dell’anno in Sicilia

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