Black Madonna Pilgrimage & Workshop in Sicily: Summer Solstice 2024

Internationally renowned singer, percussionist, teacher Alessandra Belloni, Remo Artist, Author of ‘HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA” by Inner traditions 

Proudly announces her  

Black Madonna Pilgrimage & Ritual Drumming & Chants workshop 
in Sicily for the Summer Solstice 

June 19-30, 2024

Pay your $200 non-refundable registration fee now.

Then complete your registration >> HERE

Black Madonna Pilgrimage & Summer Solstice Musical celebration in Sicily filmed, directed and edited by Francesco Piccolo in the summer 2023. Produced by Alessandra Belloni & The Black Madonna Center 

Join us for a 

This Pilgrimage is dedicated to the ancient traditions of the Black Madonna in Sicily and learning special Sicilian Folk Music, including drumming, chanting & dance at amazing locations by the sea and in the hills near the Black Madonna of Tindari & Mount Etna 


We start our journey on June 19th at Hotel Terre Di Eolo overlooking the sea . . .

The Hotel is an exclusive, newly-built facility (2017) born from the renovation of an ancient noble farmhouse, including, a courtyard, olive grove, beautiful view of the sea, the Aeolian Islands and the Nebrodi mountains. Its location is strategic due to its proximity to the sanctuary of the Tindari Black Madonna and the beautiful Mongiove beach.

For more information:

We move on June 28th to the beautiful  Hotel Baia Verde overlooking the sea near Catania - 

The 4-star Grand Hotel is set on volcanic rocks overlooking a natural bay, on the road between Acicastello and Catania. It offers an outdoor pool and a free gym.

Baia Verde is surrounded by a garden with palm and pine trees and a semi-Olympic pool. It has a sun terrace built into the rocks, which features a staircase leading down to the sea.

Many rooms also have a view of the Ionian Sea and t also features a wellness center. 

For more information:


Please register ASAP if you want to attend, this workshop & pilgrimage sells out fast,.

Special discount of $ 100 available of you register by February 1st.

Registration fee due: immediately $200 (non-refundable, applied to final payment) Please pay registration fee here:

Or VENMO, PAYPAL & ZELLE also accepted. See more details below. 

Special Features: 

The Sicilian Folk Music Group SudCantica (

with Federico Chiofalo - accordion, tambourine, guitar, Sebastiano Pietrini - vocals, guitar, tambouirne, Santino Scordino - bagpipe, tamboruine, Jaw’s hap 

See trailer from film shot during last year's pilgrimage by director Francesco Piccolo:

Special musical presentation by the renowned Sicilian Folk Musician, Giorgio Maltese, from Catania. 

Special Lectures about Argimusco, by Philosopher writer Peppe Pisciuneri 

Ritual drumming and chants led by Alessandra Belloni in various sacred sites & Mount Etna 

Coordinated by Davide Iosia & Alessandra Belloni




This workshop/pilgrimage will be a deep immersion in the ancient devotion to the Black Madonna of Tindari and other Black Madonnas to be fully experienced with drumming, singing and dance in the sacred mountains and healing waters of the Sicilian Mother Land. 


As featured in Alessandra's book "Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna " This new workshop & pilgrimage will blend the Southern Italian musical tradition of the Black Madonna and the Divine Feminine with sacred locations in Sicily at The Megalith Stones of Argimusco, the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna, and the Temple of the Goddess Cybele in Tindari.  


We will also feature the participation of special Sicilian Artists who will join us for wonderful jam sessions of Southern Italian Folk Music in great locations. 


Drumming classes will be done at different powerful locations invoking the healing powers of the volcanic earth of Sicily combined with sacred chants of the Black Madonna. 

Participants will learn the unique style of southern Italian tambourine playing and the ancient healing dance of the tarantella. 


During the Pilgrimage we will visit: 

Black Madonna of Tindari on Beautiful Hill overlooking the sea

Megalyths of Argimusco 

Feast of St. John and Festa du muzzuni

Black Madonna Acireale, Catania

Black Madonna of Montalto




Day 1: June 19 afternoon

Arrival at Catania Airport by 2:00pm, transport to hotel, Hotel Check in Welcome dinner and review of schedule


Day 2: June 20 Morning & afternoon

Drumming and Dance workshops with Alessandra & Federico Chiofalo & Santino Scordino

10:00 am to 12;30 or 1 pm- lunch

4 to 7:00 workshop

These powerful workshops will include the special collaboration between Alessandra Belloni with Folk Musicians from the group SUDCANTICA where students will learn traditional drumming, chanting, and dances from Sicily. Alessandra will lead participatory chants of devotion as authentic chants and prayers to the Black Madonna.


DAY 3: June 21 Visit the Black Madonna of Tindari and ancient site of the Greek ruins, followed by ritual chanting and drumming rites by the sacred lakes of Marinello, led by Alessandra.

This is a magical place, where the Madonna del Tindares (Ethiopian name) was found in a cave under the mountain. The mountain is surrounded by enchanted lakes of salt water and a beautiful turquoise sea .

Late afternoon into Evening – special ritual by the Laghetti di Marinello - we will perform a purification ritual, following the tradition of the Goddess of Love and Waters, Aphrodite, chanting and drumming of the Afro Brazilian tradition for Yemanja & Ochun.



In the church located at the top of the mountain, we will visit the Black Madonna who looks like an African Totem including the inscription Nigra Sum Sed Formosa (I am Black and Beautiful). Next to the church we will visit one of the most interesting archeological sites in Sicily, The Temples of Demeter and Cybele .


Day 4: June 22 morning free at pool or at the beach – included in the hotel price 4pm afternoon – come back after the sunset

Celebration of the Solstice at megaliths of Argimusco with drumming and chanting rituals to the Earth Mother Goddess Guided by Peppe Pisciuneri writer, percussionist, professor of History & Philosopher.

ARGIMUSCO Megaliti Montalbano Elicona (The Megaliths in Montalbano Elincona) is a mystical place with the imposing structures and megaliths 1200 meter above sea level. These rock formations were defined stones of the giants, interpreted as made by Neolithic people, inhabitants of Sicily in ancient times. We will be guided by Peppe through a sacred path, where he will describe various symbolism of the rocks and theories of their formation. There will be meditation and Alessandra & Peppe will lead chants and drumming among these ancient rocks and stone formations of the eagle, the snake, the profile of moai (a monolithic human figure similar to those found at Easter Island) and the woman praying (also known as the Neolithic Goddess.)


Day 5 – June 23 – all day

Visit to the Parco Jalari and lunch Vera Pietrini lunch 13:00 come back for dinner -

We will take a two-hour tour of the Parco Museo Jalari,where we will see hundreds of artifacts, vegetation and incredible stone sculptures and fountains sculpted by Mariano Pietrini. We will also take excursions from “Jalari” to various magical and spiritual sites within the Parco Jalari. Eat an amazing authentic Sicilian meal and will end with a wonderful concert by the group SUDCANTICA with wild tarantellas and Sicilian love ballads. 


Day 6: June 24th

GREAT FEAST DAY! afternoon and evening, the Summer Solstice celebration of the Festa du Muzzuni and feast of St. John the Baptist ancient solstice celebration

An ancient ritual: the Alcara Li Fusi Muzzuni Festival.

● It is a pagan festival, the oldest in Italy, in which there are parts of the rites of the Hellenic civilization.

● It is held in Alcara Li Fusi, in the province of Messina .

● Originally it coincided with the Summer Solstice and was celebrated on June 21st.

The oldest popular festival in Italy is held in Sicily. Muzzuni is a pagan festival, in which there are the distinctive features of rites dating back to the Hellenic civilization, the legacy of an ancient rite linked to the peasant world. It is, in fact, a propitiatory rite for the fertility of the earth, a hymn to the luxuriance of nature, to love and to youth. It is held in Alcara Li Fusi , a small town in the province of Messina . 

The party takes place in the evening and throughout the night of June 24th.


Day 7: June 25th

Morning off rest at the beach near hotel

Afternoon- visit to 

MILAZZO – Piscine di Venere – drumming at sunset by the Pools of Venus


Day 8: June 26th

Visit to the beautiful Eolian Islands! By boat we will spend the day cruising visiting the coast of Sicily and  disembark in the evening when we will drum in the volcanic mystical island.

Panarea is the smallest of the seven inhabited Aeolian Islands, The island is very small has  an active volcano with a total surface area of only 3.4 km2 with thermal springs. 

Stromboli is an volcanic island containing Mount Stromboli, one of the four active volcanoes in Italy. It is one of the seven Aeolian Islands, where  people believed that this is where the God  Aeolus lived.

The Eolian Islands are known as the Seven Sisters following  the legend of the Seven Black Madonnas and are connected to the stars Pleaides.


Day 9: June 27th -

Morning off afternoon visit to Madonna di Montalto

Built in 1294, it has a beautiful Byzantine icon of the Black Madonna covered with silver  and gold.


Day 10: June 28th

Morning departure – FOR CATANIA

Stay at a beautiful 4 stars hotel on the beach near the city of Catania Hotel BAIA VERDE

We will stop for a Visit BLACK MADONNA OF ACIREALE – Beautiful church in the middle of Olive groves built in 1568 with a beautiful statue of the Black Madonna  similar to the one of Loreto, patron of Italy and of aviators. Followed by a visit to the MUSEO DIOCESANO of Catania where we visit two Byzantine Icons of the BLACK MADONNA .


Day 11: June 29th

MORNING -  early workshop with Giorgio Maltese is a well-known Sicilian folk singer, multi-instrumentalist, will share his knowledge of the authentic musical folkloric traditions of Sicily.

AFTERNOON - drumming and singing ritual of Mount Etna Volcano exploring the healing power of the Black Mother Earth Soil and energy of the active volcano.

Closing dinner and celebration at Hotel with the closing ritual of the tarantella or pizzica on the feast day of the tarantati.


Day 12: June 30th

Check out from the hotel and transfer to Catania Airport.




Total cost for Black Madonna Pilgrimage & Ritual Drumming & Chants workshop after Feb 1st:


Total cost for Black Madonna Pilgrimage & Ritual Drumming & Chants workshop after Feb20th:

Includes airport pick up & drop off, bus for the entire itinerary, hotel, 2 meals a day, musicians fee and local guide.


 $100 Early bird discount through Feb 20th will be applied to your final payment

(Limited number of rooms single rooms, Room choice on first come first serve basis)


Total for Single with Ocean View: $3,800.00

Total for Single with No Ocean View: $3,700.00

Total for Double with Ocean View: $3,500.00

Total for Double with No Ocean View: $3,300.00


Registration fee due now: $200 (non-refundable, applied to final payment)

Please pay registration fee here:  

Or   VENMO & ZELLE also accepted. (Contact Alessandra for these options)

and notify Alessandra that you have paid at


Hotel deposit of 30% Due now:  (non-refundable after April 25th)

Please pay hotel deposit here:

(Choose Send money to a Friend option to avoid fees)


Total for Single with Ocean View: $1140.00

Total for Single with No Ocean View: $1110.00

Total for Double with Ocean View: $1050.00

Total for Double with No Ocean View: $990.00


Final payment Due May 1, 2024:  (Non-refundable)

Please make final payment here

(choose Send money to a Friend option to avoid fees)

$100 Early bird discount through Feb1st will be applied to this payment 


(Choose Send money to a Friend option to avoid fees)

YOU CAN MAKE 2 INSTALLMENTS OF $ 500 NOW AND $ 640 by March 15.


Total for Single with Ocean View: $2,660

Total for Single with No Ocean View: $2,590

Total for Double with Ocean View: $2,450

Total for Double with No Ocean View: $2,310





The Compagnia of popular music SudCantica was founded in 2018, from the desire of several musicians and friends to create an open line-up in which to express their love for the traditional music of Southern Italy. Not just music, the company is based on friendship, inclusiveness and the desire to share all the cultures of the world. The instruments used are those typical of the southern musical repertoire: zampogna, chitarra battente, marranzano, tambourines, castagnette, accordion, reed flute and violin.  The strength of the band lies in recreating all the overwhelming strength of the Dionysian rhythms brought to paroxysm in order to release all tensions in the audience thanks to the abandonment of the body to dance. A rite that miraculously remained intact despite all the repressive force of the clerical and often governmental organs of the past. "What makes us most happy is to see the audience stand up and start dancing. “The success that the group achieves in 2019 during the tour in Belgium marks its international baptism. They performed at various festivals in Sicily and Belgium. 


Giorgio Maltese: 


A well-known Sicilian folk singer, multi-instrumentalist, Giorgio is a virtuoso on Sicilian flute, tambourine, bagpipe, jaws harp, accordion, and mandolin, and is an accomplished vocalist. He has been a musical instructor and is well versed in the authentic musical folkloric traditions of Sicily.