Festival of San Martino: Chestnuts and Wine
Festivities for San Martino arrived earlier than normal this year in Carovigno, when Articolo 1 pub decided to get the party started on 6th November. The evening kicked off with Folk music and dancing in the street, lead by the very talented Gruppo Folk Citta Bianca. A young, energetic and extremely passionate group who enthused the crowd with their Pizzica folk music and dancing. After a couple of performances by the group, it was time to warm up the crowd on this autunm evening and get the audience involved. Having a front row seat, I was number one target, but then again it I didn’t need much persuading! My ‘cavaliere’ (male dancer) escorted me to the ‘dance floor’; a section of road cordened off for the evenings’ event. After very few instuctions, we were off, toe tapping, and being spun around at a rate of knots! It was a lot of fun! Then it was back to the experts to keep the crowd enteratined whilst super was served.
A huge ‘padella’, (pan) was set-up in the street to feed the hungry revellers, and the smell of ‘Orecchiette con salsicce’, (Pasta with sausages) filled the air, the smell was amazing, and people huddled by the padella eagerly waiting. The food was prepared by a local restaurant from San Vito dei Normanni, Vulcano Restaurant using local Orecchiette provided by Al Mattarello, a famous pasta making company, also from San Vito dei Normanni. This event was made possible with the collaboration of local organisations coming together to put on this fun filled evening for San Martino.
San Martino (Martin of Tours) is traditionally held on the 11th November, in honour of the 4th Century Bishop who didn’t die on this date but was buried then. He was born in Hungary and is revered by the Christain faith as the protector of foreigners, beggars, soldiers, geese, harvests and growers (to name but a few). Therefore, San Martino is usually celebrated in Puglia with two significant harvests; the grapes, producing ‘vino novello’ new wine of the season and ‘castagne’ (chestnuts). And no traditional celebration would be complete without the traditional folk music of Puglia, the Pizzica.
So, keeping with tradtion, the early celebrations at Articolo 1 pub was all washed down with some excellant local wine from Cantine Due Palme and local chestnuts for dessert.
As this was an early celebration of San Martino, we get to do it all again this Wednesday, 11th November! My suggestion is to go to Corso Vittorio Veneto in San Michele.