As I already mentioned in one of my previous articles, each region organizes some festivals in Italy every year.
You can read about some of them in Historical events in Italy.
Today, I’d like to talk about peculiar festivals in Italy that are worth a visit.
Fair of Sant’Orso
The fair of Sant’Orso takes place in Aosta every year on the 30th and 31st January – these two days in Italy are called the days of the blackbird.
This fair is definitely worth a visit if you like handmade objects. In fact, you can find beautiful handmade wooden sculptures, handmade leather objects, soapstone sculptures, wrought-iron objects, handmade laces, etc.
Moreover, at the fair of Sant’Orso you can find traditional Italian food and wine, of course.
Two of the symbols of this fair are sabot and la coppa dell’amicizia – the cup of friendship.
Sabot are typical wooden shoes, while la coppa dell’amicizia is a carved wooden cup with several spouts. The cup is usually filled with Valdostana coffee – a coffee with spices and grappa – and is passed around from person to person to drink from.
The second of the peculiar Italian festivals in this list is the snake festival.
The snake festival takes place every year in may in Cocullo, Abruzzo.
The origin of this Italian festival is unclear but the legend says that once upon a time the people who lived in central Italy worshipped Angita, a serpent Goddess who protected people from snake’s bites. Then, centuries later, San Domenico, an abbot who lived in Cocullo in the 10th century, has been associated to Angita after he left one of his teeth at the church before leaving the town. Since then he has been considered capable of protecting people from snake’s bites, and protect people’s teeth.
The serpari, expert snake catchers, start to catch wild non-venomous snakes even a month before the day of the festival.
Once the day of the festival comes, the serpari place all the snakes on the statue of San Domenico. Then the Statue is carried through the narrow streets of Cocullo.
Once the festival is over, the serpari retrieve the snakes and release them.
Calcio storico is an incredibly popular event that takes place every year in Florence. This is considered one of the earliest forms of football and its origins date back to the 16th century.
After a cannon fire signals the start of the match, two teams composed of 27 players each start to compete.
The rules are very different from the modern rules of calcio. In fact, players can do almost anything to get the ball and score.
They can use punches, kicks, elbows, wrestling moves, etc.
The winning team gets a Chianina cow as a prize.
Since calcio storico is a very popular festival, if you want to watch it, you’d better buy tickets in advance or they’ll be sold out.
Have you ever been in one of these peculiar Italian festivals? Did you like them?
Original image by MustangJoe