Advertisements

Festa!

14 Jul
14 July 2016. Small town festivals were a part of the fabric of our youth: parades, bands, queens, community dinners, and carnival rides. Quite a different animal in Italy.
We arrived in Ortisei in time for the annual sagra, or local festival, complete with beer hall, folk-costume parade, and band concert. In Italy, many sagre (plural of sagra) are agricultural-based celebrating artichokes, chestnuts, truffles, and so on. Not so in Ortisei: They celebrate their Ladin culture.
Three of the more elaborate costumes.

Three of the more elaborate costumes.

The Ladin people are the historical inhabitants of this ethnically and politically confused region. Before WWI, this was Austria. They are still a part of the Tyrol, with which they share culture, history, traditions, environment, and architecture; However, they are Italian residents of the autonomous region of the Trentino-Alto Adige and have their own language. Luckily everyone speaks German and Italian, and most speak English as well as Ladin, so communication is interesting. It is not uncommon to hear three languages among four people in a single conversation. 
The band, smartly attired in Tyrolean costumes. Our hosts' daughter is one of the flautists.

The band, smartly attired in Tyrolean costumes. Our hosts’ daughter is one of the flutists.

As a community gathering, the sagra in Ortisei was remarkably simple and it seemed the entire town participated. We saw the beer hall go up in the piazza Friday night, forcing the buses and taxis to do their pick-up and drop-off on the highway 100 meters away. At noon on Saturday, several loud reports from a cannon and the vigorous ringing of church bells announced the start of the festival and drove LibbyJean into hiding.
The festival hall/beer tent on Saturday night. Teeming with people of all ages.

The festival hall/beer tent on Saturday night. Teeming with people of all ages.

Saturday night on our way to dinner we passed the beer hall — now encompassing the large bus-and-taxi piazza — where at least 2000 people were crammed tightly into picnic tables with little room for the beer servers to maneuver. We happily passed by to enjoy dinner at a relatively empty restaurant. The BIG day was to be Sunday.
Note the beer hall is set up in the bus piazza.

Note the beer hall is set up in the bus piazza.

Sunday morning at 9:45 the crowd began to gather outside the village church, awaiting the folk-costume parade, led by the town band. Many of the parade watchers also donned Tyrolean dress: boys large and small in lederhosen with women and girls in dirndl skirts. The rest of us were festively attired in hiking shorts and tee-shirts.
The short parade of extremely elaborate costumes depicted traditional dress associated with a Ladin wedding. From helpful neighbors to the “inviter,” the grandparents, and the woman with the keys to the wine cellar, everyone had a role and a costume with special meaning. The band was an assemblage of young and old musicians who after leading the parade also performed a two-hour concert during Sunday lunch. 
I nonni, the grandparents, of the bride and groomi n distinctive Ladin attire.

I nonni, the grandparents, of the bride and groom in distinctive Ladin attire.

Of course, after the parade passed everyone followed it down the street to the piazza where it was apparently not too early for wine, beer, or a spritz con Aperol. We tucked into elevensies and enjoyed the band along with our own spritzes.
Post parade parade of the uncostumed surges down ther main drag.

Post parade parade of the uncostumed surges down the main drag.

From our hillside aerie we could hear music on-and-off all afternoon and into the evening, as well as the continued firing of the cannon and overuse of the church bells. By Monday morning it was all swept away to make room for the weekly market. 

 

Sweet children in elaborate cosumes. These take an hour to put on.

Sweet children in elaborate cosumes. These take an hour to put on.

Even the tiniest participant has to have the right attire.

Even the tiniest participant has to have the right attire.

Tyrolean dress for all ages.

Tyrolean dress for all ages.

Horse drawn carriage for the wedding couple.

Horse drawn carriage for the wedding couple.

Smaller crowd Sunday after the parade. Note the street lamps and taxi station signs.

Smaller crowd Sunday after the parade. Note the street lamps and taxi station signs.

Elevensies! A spritz con Aperol with bocconcini di pollo and insalata di patate (chicken nuggets and potatoe salad). We hiked after....

Elevensies! A spritz con Aperol with bocconcini di pollo and insalata di patate (chicken nuggets and potato salad). We hiked after….

Advertisements

12 Responses to “Festa!”

  1. Anita July 15, 2016 at 22:41 #

    Wow, can’t imagine how long it takes to make one of those costumes! Beautiful!

    Like

    • gooddayrome July 16, 2016 at 05:16 #

      Good point! The lace alone is magnificent on those girls’ dresses. It is an amazing thing to see these old-world traditions.

      Like

  2. Chloe Erkenbrecher July 15, 2016 at 10:17 #

    What spectacular costumes. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kym July 15, 2016 at 05:50 #

    Aw so wonderful to read your tales about your travels. Love the vivid description and photos. Miss you both. Love Kym

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marcia Kakiuchi July 14, 2016 at 21:17 #

    I’m continually impressed by the Italians celebrations and enjoying life / food, family and friends. It seems wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ckleonard July 14, 2016 at 20:23 #

    This blog brought back so many fond memories from when I spent a short time in northern Italy in 1965. My travel friends and I were in awe over how the area retained so much of their past. Totally shattered our images of what all of Italy was like!

    Like

    • gooddayrome July 15, 2016 at 05:13 #

      I know! Italy is really a collection of cultures. Each town, province, and region tends to hang onto its food traditions, dialect, etc. They call is “campanilissma” or allegiance to the bell tower.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. gayleseely July 14, 2016 at 20:04 #

    What a lovely thing to do in the middle of summer. I wonder if there is a similar event in the middle of winter – or possibly it is much harder to parade at that time. It all seems so ancestrally human, routed in our desire to hold on to the old ways. I did not notice a lot of people texting in your photos, which means they are really involved. And does a child learn, when taking a hour to put on their costume each year, that saving their history is worth the time required to do it? I think it is good it is not easy. Thanks for sharing.
    Gayle

    Liked by 1 person

    • gooddayrome July 15, 2016 at 05:11 #

      The Ladin people have worked very hard to retain their culture. It has only been recognized in the modern era since the late 19th century. The language was dying until they started teaching it in the schools (kind of like Gaelic in Scotland) and now they celebrate it. Sure beats some of the sagre that have become more about having a market where you canbuy the same trash everywhere.

      In winter they do have a lovely Christmas market in Ortisei where they sell the local crafts, arts and products. Very sweet with mulled wine sold on the street.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: