Many people will be adding the figurine of a shepherd zampognaro (bagpiper) to their Nativity scenes this Christmas with little knowledge of their importance throughout the centuries of the shepherd bagpipers of Abruzzo
Many people don’t realise that the little bagpiper they put in their nativity scene is Abruzzo in origin! The Zampogne, the Italian name for bagpipes doesn’t just have a long iconic pastoral history but the zampognari (bagpipers) are very much still here today and celebrate and play at numerous feste and sagre within Abruzzo.
Loreto Aprutino’s Festa di San Zopito got me interested in the stories behind the monumental white ox with his carefully trimmed & polished hooves, multi-coloured ribbons & bells
Going out of my way to see an assorted group of Italian bagpipers known as zampognari wasn’t something I ever imagined taking an afternoon out to do in Abruzzo