The heart of the city of Enna is the Piazza San Francesco. It was built to serve people; to be a meeting place.
In the sixties, it was turned into a large parking lot, but in the eighties, it was given back to the citizens, and is now lit up for the Christmas holidays.
Here and there in Enna, you can come across a nativity scene. I recently visited one made by the boys and girls of the Catholic Action of Enna. They are very smart. Inside a small three-story building, they have created workshops for various cultural activities: to learn music, to learn painting, to do theater, to teach Italian to foreigners, and so on.
While I am talking about the crib, my thoughts go to Saint Francis of Assisi. He was number one in many fields. He was the first to make a nativity scene and the first to compose a poem in Italian. We can say that the Italian language was born with St. Francis of Assisi. His superb poem Canticle of the Creatures predates both Dante and the Sicilian school of poetry.
Reading Canticle of the Creatures in front of a nativity scene elevates the spirit!
Enna is a mountain city. It is quite cold in the winter, but the bagpipe players and the buccellati warm up the Christmas atmosphere.
Once families got together to make buccellati, typical Sicilian Christmas shortbread cakes that contained dried figs or ground almonds inside. Nowadays, they even put chocolate inside them.
They were cakes made to last all winter. I do not know what did they put in to make them last that long. I only remember that they remained soft and fragrant until the end of February, that is, two months after they had been made, without losing their organoleptic qualities.
Nowadays in Enna, families no longer make buccellati at home, because there are no wood-burning ovens in the houses, and it is much easier to buy them at the bakery. However, the delicious taste of the buccellati has not changed.