Sacred and profane in Salento’s summer nights

At last, in 2022, after two years of holidays restricted by Covid, we have started to again enjoy the summer festivals that take place virtually in every village and town in Salento.

They start in June and end in mid October and there is no place, big or small, that doesn’t have its own saint to celebrate, its traditions to keep alive or its typical dishes to share in a flurry of stalls, food, music, fireworks and lanterns. The sacred and the profane blend in an irresistible desire to be together - families, friends, old and young, tourists and locals.

The Sagra te lu Ranu (Festival of Wheat) at Merine, Santa Domenica’s Festival at Scorrano, the Mercatino del Gusto (Market of Good Taste) at Maglie, the Festival of the Martyr Saints and of the Holy Mother of the High Seas at Otranto, the Festival of the Municeddha (small land snails) at Cannole, the Festival di Sant’Oronzo at Lecce are only some of the countless occasions that light up summer nights in Salento. In Palmariggi, at Ferragosto (15 August), we also have our own Festival of the Bruschetta, which traditionally takes place at the Church of Montevergine and attracts large crowds who share the wish to spend an evening having fun. And when the first notes of the Pizzica start to play in the square, I challenge anyone to stay still and ignore the overwhelming sound of this dance that has its roots in the most ancient traditions of this land.

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