• Traditions

    The Fòcara of Novoli

    Can you imagine a giant bonfire that reaches a height of 25 meters and a diameter of 20? It is the Fòcara (dialect word simply meaning bonfire), an unmissable event for believers and folklore lovers that takes place in Novoli, the province of Lecce every January. The origin of Fòcara presumably dates back to the 17th century: some historians attribute its birth to the Venetians who at that time were very active in Puglia producing and selling wine, oil, cotton as well as breeding horses. Others claim that it has pre-Christian origins, and used to mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Today it is an event…

  • Traditions

    Pizzica & Tarantismo

    Definitely one of the most famous Italy’s folk dance the “pizzica pizzica” is a traditional music and ballet of considerable social and cultural importance which is becoming more and more popular and is largely appreciated even among young people. This ballet is surrounded by religious believes and something mythological which has always fascinated people since old times. Tarantismo According to popular belief, the tarantismo (whose birth is placed by some historians back to 1100), was a disease caused by the bite of a spider called the tarantula, this used to occur particularly during summer months during the harvest and mainly to women. The bite caused epilepsy, combined with sweating and…

  • Traditions

    Holy Week

    Puglia has a long and ancient tradition of religious holidays. However the Pasqua (Easter) is probably the most celebrated and loved among the locals; for an entire week the region abandons its modernity to embrace religious rituals of extreme beauty and highly symbolic for the drama that can transmit. Solemn celebrations are held all across the region and may vary from town to town according to local traditions, believes and historical events that may have marked the local history and are still deep into the spirit of the people. The Settimana Santa (Holy Week) starts on Domenica delle Palme (Palm Sunday) and ends on Easter Sunday: the passion, death and…