Here’s what is taking place during the second half of March.
SNIM – SALONE NAUTICO DI PUGLIA
BRINDISI PROMENADE, Regina Margherita
Over 150 exhibition stands, all about boating, boats, accessories.
NATURE EXCURSIONS OF ALTOSALENTO
Every Sunday Morning
Hike in the magical Valle d’Itria along a beautiful stretch of Puglia between Ostuni and Martina Franca, starting from Masseria Canton, stopping off at the Cave of Millenari in the province of Ostuni.
Every Saturday Morning
Cycling between the coast and the olive trees from Via Traiana to Ostuni.
Both events can be booked through Millenari di Puglia.
BONFIRE AND FESTIVAL OF SAN GIUSEPPE
Ancient folk traditions takes place in San Marzano, just 10km south of Francavilla Fontana.
18th March, 1500 devotees take place in a procession, ‘Procession of Chariots’. The horse-drawn carts are filled with bundles of firewood which are used to prepare the bonfire. The bonfire is usually lit about 21:30, and pyrotechnics, which are synchronised to music, are said to be spectacular to watch, and illuminate the night sky much later in the evening.
One of the highlights to this event is when the horses kneel in front of the statue of the Patron Saint.
There are also bands playing throughout the evening.
19th March, in the square at midday there is the blessing of ‘mattre’ (tables of the poor) which consist of 13 dishes of San Giuseppe. These are local peasant dishes.
San Giuseppe also signifies the beginning of Spring.
BONFIRE and Mattre of SAN GIUSEPPE
Erchie is also renowned for its celebrations of San Giuseppe. Erchie is a small village located near the beautiful town of Oria.
March 18th is the day of the bonfire with spectacular lighting of the fireworks.
March 19th is the day of ‘mattre’ with a tasting of 13 traditional dishes of San Giuseppe.
PROCESSION OF THE MADONNA ADDOLORATA
This particular procession is held with great emotion and winds through the narrow streets of the old town of Ceglie Messapica: a medieval nineteenth-century village.
In the early morning, the farmers go into the countryside and collect olive branches for the Priest to bless. Huge crowds gather in the streets and outside the churches, and often the Priest blesses these branches outdoors to appease the crowds of faithful onlookers.