We’ve spent quite some time at Bivongi, an old historic town that lives its life cycle like a bulbous flower. It goes dormant in the winter months, slowly shows signs of life during the spring and bursts into the glorious color of life for summer and slowly fades away in the autumn.
These last few days in Bivongi, the Wild Boar Festival or “Sagra del Cinghiale” took place. Last night the town celebrated the Sagra del Vino with typical foods, local wine and performances of the old traditional dance, the Tarantella. Onlookers were welcome to spontaneously participate in the square and many did.
During dinner and the performance, the square was filled with out of town guests who came for the festival, but on any given summer night, the square is filled with towns people and vacation renters who come to sit in the metal chairs that skirt the square to drink, chat and watch.
My first encounter with the Italian evening ‘passeggiata’ was in 2006 in Termoli when I emerged slightly groggy from an afternoon sleep in search of food. The main street that led toward the hotel, and the one I had taken by car earlier that day, was blocked to traffic and literally packed with people casually walking up and down the street, looking in windows, looking at others looking in windows and all in their finery.
Where the square is filled with adults and children engaged in good conversation over a drink or two, the unlit doorways and dark alleys attract the myriad of teenagers that converge on Bivongi. From the lack of town gossip, I imagine they are good kids who just find pleasure in something secret. A dark alley in a big city would be the beginning of bad news.
My favorite festival at Bivongi is the Mercato della Badia which will be on August 17 and 18. The second day will end literally with a bang, with fireworks and lost animals. The already tiny streets will diminish even further as stalls are set up to entice the stream of visitors to buy their trinkets, local specialties and ceramics. I’ve already promised myself to purchase some lovely hand painted, southern style pottery for the kitchen since, as my good friends well know, I love to cook so much.