A feast in Italian means two things; religion and food. First, I will explain the religion then walk you through the food.
So apparently centuries ago someone buried a statue of the Madonna because of an approaching war. She was buried with her hands facing outward and stuck into a pot. Whoever buried her must have died because they lost their city’s most valuable possession. Smooth.
100 years later a farmer found her and her arms miraculously were lifted up as to be preventing something from passing. Clearly everyone took this as a sign ergo the Feast of the Madonna in Cercemaggiore. There is a big mass outside of a gorgeous pale green church and then a large procession with the rosary around the town. Maybe my family is too sarcastic but we had way too much fun with this.
After the 2k procession we return to the square where fireworks are set off dangerously close. Considering I didn’t expect to see fireworks on the 4th it was a welcome surprise. I also think if we had more fireworks and festivals around religious events in the US maybe more people would go to church…
After the show we went to grab food because… Italy. We ordered bacalao which is fried cod with cooked peppers and beef sandwiches. 2 bottles of red wine came with cute plastic toppers and no labels. We also ordered almost a dozen pizzas. With 9 Italians you can never have enough pizza.
We went home with full bellies and an understanding of what it means to celebrate in small Italian towns.
Since I am discussing food I could not leave out our lunch the last day. Our cousins arranged for us to eat at Hotel Ristoronte Il Cacciatore. Our cousin’s husband works there and boy did they set it up. The below menu took us 5 hours and countless bottles of wine.
- Snacks on the patio
- Appetizer: mozzarella, prosciutto, cantalope, figs
- First course: Ravioli
- Second first course: Spaghetti a la guitar
- First second course: Beef with artichoke sauce
- Second second course: Lamb, sausage and steak
- Dessert: fruit and coffee
- Second dessert: amazing cake from our adorable cousin who spoke no English
As our guide told us in Italy food is a religion.