If you happen to be in the Apulia region during summer, do not miss the best event, the so-called Night of the Tarantola (Notte della Taranta in Italian).
According to an ancient tradition, there were a group of women who had just finished to work in the field. They are tired and sweat, and one of them got bite at the ankle by a tarantula.
Suddenly she grabbed a tambourine and she started to dance without inhibition or worry. She felt totally free and she went on and on until the poison exited her body.
This specific dance, the so-called pizzica (from the act of biting of the tarantula) marks the beginning of summer in Apulia, and the legend becomes real thanks to a live musical which became an attraction. People from all of Europe want to be part of it, since it became one of the Italian cultural attractions.
Originally the pizzica was only danced by Pugliese grandmothers, since it was seen as a sort of therapy against the sense of oppression. Nowadays it is celebrated all around the Italian boot, which means in Salento, Soleto, Sternatia, Zollino, Calimera and Carpignano, and the celebrations end up in Melpignano, for the big night. Late at night, in fact, the folk orchestra opens the so called Night of the Tarantola, the main event, in which there are several national and international exhibits, as well as the local and more traditional groups from the zone around Salento.
Tourists simply felt in love with the idea of dancing barefoot all night with local people, before tasting the delicious turcinieddi and sipping some really good Italian wine. What a great chance to enjoy summer while exploring Italy.
Don’t you feel a little bit jealous? If yes, don’t miss the chance to be a part of the most hilarious event in the South of Italy. You will have so much fun and you will bring back home a very nice and unforgettable memory.