UN CUORE PER IL TARTUFO
In May in Corigliano d’Otranto there’s the festival A HEART FOR THE TRUFFLE, renowned and valuable food which has a large number of admirers and fans. The protagonist of this festival is the white truffle and the event is full of music and exhibitions for a whole weekend on the streets of the village. The restaurants will offer special menus, but also many other dishes of Salento. If you are new to truffles, you can enjoy the hunting race and appreciate the themed conferences, but if the precious tuber is not among your most used ingredients, what better time to discover and taste it and take part to the cooking lessons?
SAGRA DELLE CILIEGIE
In May, in Leverano there’s the FESTIVAL OF CHERRIES, if you love these delicious fruits, you can not resist the stands of the “Fera ti li cerasi” as it’s called in Puglia. The stands are full of cherries and many other fruits of the season. The festival is linked to the feast of Our Lady of Consolation, for which they organize a beautiful horse parade with more than fifty vintage cars, for an even more fascinating event.
During the Holy Week all the villages of Salento are engaged in solemn processions that culminate on Good Friday, when, after a meticulous preparation, the streets are invaded by the faithful. Enjoy these rich and spectacular processions with statues of the Madonna and Christ, it is a unique opportunity to rediscover an ancient tradition. There are particularly evocative processions on Good Friday in Galatina, with the parade of the confreres, and in Gallipoli with the parade of barefoot penitents.
DANZA DELLE TARANTOLE
As regards music, you can not visit Puglia without getting involved in the DANCE OF TARANTULAS. On the 29th of June in Galatina, they celebrate this dance with ancient origins. An old legend says that the bite of the tarantula made women go mad and that only with a wild dance they could exorcise the evil and heal. In ancient times, women went to St. Paul’s Church, a Saint that is in fact celebrated on 29 June. Today the Taranta is a popular dance that survives thanks to the traditions of Salento.
FESTA A CASU
In summer the A CASU FESTIVAL offers the richness of the cheese production of Salento. At the Festival of Cheese, between a cheese ricotta and mozzarella prepared “live”, we can also understand the processes and production times, the seasoning and the history of local cheeses talking directly with manufacturers. The festival takes place in the old town center of NARDÒ which for the occasion also hosts events of Italian and international folk music.
NOTTE DELLA TARANTA
In August there’s the NIGHT OF THE TARANTA, an itinerant festival which ends in the village of Melpignano. This event in recent years has attracted visitors from all over Italy thanks to the combination of traditional and popular music, and Italian and international contemporary music. In the latest edition, in the “big concert” there were more than 200,000 people.