Participants have the option of camping or staying in a hostel at a site just outside the town center that is usually used as a base for hikers looking to tackle the many trails around Mount Etna. Although many seem to have opted to stay in Milo’s handful of B&Bs, or take a taxi from a nearby town. Due to the ticket structure of the festival – offering the option of paying entry to individual events as well as a “golden passwhich spans the entire festival – there’s a different selection of faces and general vibe at each stop. young Sicilian natives unable to pass up the opportunity to catch big names on their home turf Most came from Catania, although many traveled from the mainland…some even from as far away as Paris and the Netherlands. A member of the crowd, brandishing an oversized backpack with an unmistakable American accent explains, “I’m traveling through Sicily right now, I was staying at Riposto and I saw the poster and thought I’d take a look. I never would have thought this area was very party-friendly, so that’s a nice surprise.
In a graceful move, Opera has minimal clashes. Usually the action takes place one step at a time – good news for those who don’t want to have to Sophia’s Choiceand of course to offer respite to the sleepy town below as the party continues into the night.
It makes sense that Opera would do as much accommodation as possible for the people of Milo – even going so far as to offer locals 50% off all tickets. The city is truly at the center of all that Opera is. Milo, a small commune with a population of just 1,072, is undeniably beautiful – all the Baroque architecture, jaw-dropping views of the island’s east coast and that patented, laid-back Sicilian charm. The town hall has been temporarily turned into an information point and it is here that the festival puts on a series of free shows in the early afternoon and late evening, while the handful of restaurants and cafes is populated by participants in poor condition.