La Sagra delle Regne is a religious festival dedicated to the Madonna delle Grazie, the patron of the old medieval town of Minturno. It takes place every year on the second Sunday in July.
Our American friends, Pat and Melinda, very kindly invited us to spend the afternoon and evening with them, so that we could see the festival for ourselves. They have purchased an apartment in Minturno and have now left their old life back behind in Ohio, and begun their adventure of living in Italy.
Pat and Melinda had very kindly had the foresight to reserve a table at their local bar, which was located directly in front of the event’s main stage. It proved to be an excellent viewpoint. Of course I had my trusty camera with me !!! I was hoping to capture some good shots of this colourful event.
The term “regne” has Latin origins, meaning bundles or sheaves of wheat. The festival had pagan origins. Local farmers would beseech the Roman Gods of the earth to protect the wheat harvest and bless the fruits of their labours. During the Middle Ages the festival became a Christian one, in which the Madonna delle Grazie was entreated to grant local families, farmers and fishermen success in their personal endeavours.
In Minturno’s main square stands the 14th century stone church dedicated to San Francesco. Inside there is a side altar with a beautiful fresco depicting the Madonna delle Grazie.
As the festival began to get under way we watched decorated carts being transported to the centre of the village, some were horse-drawn, others were towed by tractor.
In the evening Minturno hosted the Festivale Internationale del Folklore.
We watched an impressive performance by a band of sbandieratori or flag wavers / throwers, an ancient Medieval tradition.
Many local people, both young and old, were dressed in the typical costumes of this region. There seems to be so much passion, diligence and pride in trying to preserve the old traditional ways.
Everyone gathers in the main square to see the wheat being threshed manually by the “vigilatori”.
There were numerous performances by local dance groups
and musicians from Minturno.
At this year’s 2015 festival Minturno welcomed colourful dance troupes from
Mexico, Panama and Poland.
The evening’s entertainment culminated
in the castle being seemingly set alight.
We retired back to Pat and Melinda’s apartment where we sat on their wonderful roof terrace. Here we were able to sit and relax, and enjoy the cooler night air whilst watching the festa’s grand finale – a colourful firework display.
Thanks to Pat and Melinda for a wonderful evening.
All photos (except were indicated) by me © Louise Shapcott
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Just recently I have been updating my Minturno web pages.
Minturno has a fascinating history and it is so interesting to wander around the old Medieval town.
You can read more about Minturno and see more photographs here at my website: