The villages open their doors to visitors in the Covid-19 era. This means that, in compliance with health regulations, the villages once again present themselves as a place of meeting, exchange and enrichment for everyone. The next events on the calendar are the most varied, in fact there are food and wine festivals, historical re-enactments, but also exhibitions and markets, to testify a liveliness and cultural plurality that has always been the driving force of our country.
Palio dei Caci in Volterra. Photo by RestucciaGiancarlo
Historical re-enactments of some villages and Christmas markets
Almost all the Italian villages are the expression of a stratification of peoples and cultures that have taken turns in the territory. The villages evoke their past remembering with a representation one of the events that has characterized their history. There are many examples. In Sermoneta, in the province of Latina, next October 11th there will be the usual "Historical re-enactment of the Battle of Lepanto". The ancient medieval village goes back in time to 1571, when there was a clash between the Turks and the Sermonetan troops, led by Onorato IV Caetani. The battle was won by the papal troops and between religious and civil events, the town remembers its origins. In fact, the village hosts a rich procession in costume with about 150 participants, but also a Palio in honour of the Madonna that attracts many visitors. Each people interprets the spirit of their land in a unique way. The "Palio dei caci volterrani" which takes place in Volterra, in the province of Pisa on 24, 25 and 31 October and on the first of November 2020, includes the exhibition of the flag wavers, but recalls in a goliardic way their peasant origins. In fact, the eight districts of the town compete with each other in a cheese competition. The cheeses are rolled along a street in the village, chased by eight runners with their wooden pallets. The winner is the one who first manages to reach the finish line with his cheese shape by overcoming the obstacles placed along the road. The ancient medieval tradition from which this event takes its cue, is the "ruzzola" or the "caci" race in which the skill and strength of the winner was rewarded with a cheese wheel. Some villages acquire a special light at Christmas. On 5 and 6 December there is the "Christmas in Val d'Ultimo", here an old farmhouse, the stube, becomes the focus of the event with the products of the farmers' market. Outside there are food stands with local products or you can listen to old stories of tradition around the fire. You can instead breathe a different air in Almese, Turin with the event held on December 13th, "Christmas in the square". The arcades of the old town centre are filled with stands with handmade products, ideas for gifts or Christmas decorations while adults and children alike enjoy the many entertainment shows.
Arrubiolus in Carloforte. Photo by Gengis90
Some food and wine events in the post-Covid era
Food and wine events are particularly awaited, in fact a good dish is always appreciated both by Italians and foreigners who appreciate the richness of the villages. In Valleggio sul Mincio in the province of Verona, the "Festa del Nodo d'Amore" (Love Knot Festival) is scheduled for June 15, 2021. It is said that a nymph and a noble captain were very much in love, but unfortunately opposed. The event also includes a parade with extras in medieval costume with the two lovers among the participants. Their story has as its symbol a golden silk handkerchief with a knot whose shape recalls the tortellino di Valeggio. Love and food are therefore the symbol of this great feast which takes place at a table on the Ponte Visconteo situated in the hamlet of Borghetto. The main protagonist of the banquet is the tortellino, a gastronomic excellence, but also the food of the whole territory. The exaltation of local products is the central focus of the events that express the link between a people and food. The "Festival del Pesce Azzurro" (Blue Fish Festival) in Marzamemi, Syracuse will be held from 26 to 28 June 2021 and is one of the many events in which tradition is exalted. Ancient recipes are confused with modern reinterpretations and interpretations of typical dishes, in which the taste is always satisfied. With the event sardines and anchovies, which have always been the "poor" food of the local people, have a new role. They also become the protagonists of a cooking competition that entertains the participants. The events in the villages tell of peoples and traditions to the point of giving rise to a uniqueness that is the distinguishing feature of the small towns of our country. In Carloforte in Sardinia there is an excellent mixture of perfumes and ingredients in the tabarchino cus cus which has an ancient flavour. It is a dish that has its roots in semolina, a favourite food of the nomadic Arab populations who spread it all over the Mediterranean, thanks to trade exchanges. The Genoese particularly appreciated its taste and made the cus cus a precious element of their cuisine. This followed them in their wanderings and so, when a group of Genoese families settled in Carloforte, semolina was mixed with Sardinian vegetables to give rise to the cus cus cus tabarchino. Just to this product is dedicated every year a festival that in 2021, is held in Carloforte on April 25th. All the events in the villages are of great interest, the visitor can choose among the many events and let himself be carried away by the magic of the places wearing the mask and with the respect of the social distancing. Even in the post-Covid-19 era, in fact, the villages present themselves as an opportunity for rebirth that is impossible to renounce.
Discover these and other events from our constantly updated dedicated page.
Main photo: Marzamemi, from pixelshop