Explore the best of our Abruzzo Event calendar this week and this month with our handy list of sagre, feste and events in Chieti, Pescara, Teramo and Aquila provinces. Click on any of the map’s pins to discover each fun-filled Abruzzo event that is local to you or deserving of a road trip! Alternatively, on the desktop version, scroll through the event flyers on the right and click thru to discover the event’s full details.
For over five centuries, an annual festival has graced Pacentro’s calendar, weaving together pagan and religious customs: the Gypsy Race. However, in the context of Pacentro, the term “Zingari” holds a distinct meaning beyond the common Italian connotation of “Gypsies” or “nomadic.” Here, it signifies “the barefoot one” in the local dialect.
Engaging in this formidable and perilous “race,” the youth participants undertake a barefoot sprint from the summit of the mountain, which stands sentinel before the village, and all 35 entrants race with their feet lacerated and wounded by stones and brambles, through the Vella Stream until they get into the streets of the town and the finish line at the Church of the Virgin Mary of Loreto. The veneration directed towards this specific Madonna, celebrated for her capacity to mend wounds, stems from an ancient religious narrative. It recounts the Virgin Mary’s pause in Pacentro during her miraculous “journey” to Loreto alongside the “Holy House.” This history has endowed the race with a profound sense of devotion and purpose
The winner receives as a prize a palio or a cut of woolen fabric to make a men’s suit, a much coveted recognition in the Middle Ages. The winner is then carried in triumph on the shoulder between two wings of the crowd through the streets of the town.
We will do our best to keep this calendar up to date, however in the case of last-minute cancellations due to adverse weather conditions, Covid outbreaks and so forth this may not always be possible. In these cases, you should contact the event organiser for a refund as we are not responsible for the events on the calendar, only compiling them into an easy list. As soon as we have news from an organiser when any event will be rescheduled we will update the calendar accordingly.
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