In December we attended a festival of Art, Culture and Tradition in the historic little town of Minturno, entitled “I Vicoli de Traetto Raccontano”, an event held over a two day period.
When we arrived in the town at about 4pm on Sunday (the time advertised on the poster) yet there appeared to be very little happening, in fact the place was virtually deserted. At first we wondered if we had mistaken the date. However, we had learned through past experience, that here in Italy any event seems to take time to start and get going, especially around siesta time. So we persevered and took time to admire the wonderful view of the coastline and one of the most stunning of sunsets.
The original name for Minturno had once been Traetto, the town having being founded in the 9th century. In the highest part of the town there is an impressive castle or baronial palace. Finding it open we ventured inside. The great hall is now used as an exhibition area, where there was a small display of artwork depicting ladies dressed in the traditional local costume.
We followed the central street which lead us to the ancient cathedral which was founded in the 9th century and is dedicated to San Pietro Apostolo. A staircase leads up to the porch which has four arches. The tall brick bell tower has three rows of mullion windows.
Some ancient remains of Roman architecture have been incorporated into the building.
The church was beautifully decorated for the festa dell’ Immacolata Concezione, which is celebrated on the 8th of December.
As we exited the peace and quiet of the church we made out the sound of drumming and traditional accordion music.
We took a wander through the centre of the old town which is lined with numerous little alleyways. There is something of interest to see around each and every corner.
Along the way locals had been setting up their stalls, some selling traditional food, others displaying traditional arts and crafts.
In an ex church we came across demonstrations of traditional skills such as weaving, lace-making and needlework.
We then stumbled upon the Museo Etnografico di Minturno which had many interesting exhibits of tools and paraphernalia of days gone by.
Here some charming little children belonging to a folk dancing group were getting ready for a performance.
All photos by me © Louise Shapcott
You can read more about traditional folk dancing on my previous blog regarding Minturno’s Sagra delle Regne and International Folklore Festival
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