We know that Christmas is not really Christmas without the typical foods of local traditions, that season and color of smells and tastes the streets, markets, houses of Italy.
Puglia is no exception and joins its culinary Christmas traditions to the local excellences of art and folklore, a MUST VISIT for those who love art, good food and… Christamas atmospheres.
Today we want to drive you down a path that runs through the sacred and profane, showing you some very typical cribs of Puglia, where the tradition is closely linked to art, along pathways where food and wine are a fundamental part of devotion, traveling theater, live art experiences.
Art and archeology in Salento
The cribs are a guarantee in the land of Papier Mache, which attracts the curious and fans throughout the year. The exhibition of cribs held in Lecce in the former Convento dei Teatini, is among the top winter Christmas destinations in Italy.
Here you can see exellences of local art, ranging from paper mache puppets treated in detail, little clay puppets representing the villagers, animals, crafsmen. Then again, scenic locations of small villages, with scenes of the past faithfully reconstructed.
The crib in the Salento is not only figurative art but also a theatre; all the Salento is in fact animated by living nativity scenes, some of which are known throughout the Puglia and throughout Italy.
Among the most original, we recommend today the one in Caprarica of Lecce. The first important feature of the nativity scene is the location, the Archeodromo of Kalòs, the largest experimental archeology park in Italy. The Living Nativity of Kalòs attracts not only devotees but also fans of cultural anthropology due to the care of historical reconstructions followed by a group of researchers, scholars and volunteers.
We also recommend the living representation of Nativity of Seclì, in the sixteenth-century convent of San’Atntonio da Padova. In this intimate environment, crafts and old lost traditions are revived with about one hundred people who interact with visitors. Outside the convent, the evocation of the past will enjoy the old flavors thanks to the Inn serving typical ‘Seclì horse meet’, typical local speciality.
Nativity of Canosa di Puglia (BT)
The crib of Canosa di Puglia, held from December 26 to January 6, is one of the most beautiful religious and cultural events of Puglia, with the participation of over 300 people of all ages who animate over 25 scenes of everyday village life, in an area covering 12,000 square meters.
After visiting the crib area, it is definitely recommended to have tour in the city center, with its Christmas markets where to look for the typical puffs (the sfigghiet) sweet made from sheets of pasta shaped belt stuffed with ground almonds, jams or grape quince, cloves and cinnamon.
More than a crib, in Pezze di Greco
The crib in Pezze di Greco, fraction of Fasano (FG) is a crib-festival of ancient crafts and flavors. The setting is not the ancient Bethlehem but a village of late 800 early ‘900.
Children, the elderly craftsmen, farmers, woman and old ladies are engaged in demonstrations of food preparation and handicraft. Old cellars are used to drink in typical local pieces and everything is full of a very practical and educational aspect also due to the the Museum and workshop of paesan Art.
The setting is beautiful and very credible, the visit is enjoyable not only for the atmosphere but also for the educational side.
Not to be missed, for example, the cave that houses the olive pickers, while celebrating the evening moment when they relieve the fatigue of hard work, giving an insight into important aspect of past life and the origin of some traditions.
Admission is just € 3 for adults, and is free for children under the age of 12 and for people with disabilities. The path is completely accessible and usable even in case of rain.
As per tradition, inside the caves, visitors can taste the typical products of the Christmas tradition of Puglia, from the classic “pettole” to “cipollata” to classic homemade bread with winter tomatoes.
For further infos: http://www.presepeviventepezzedigreco.it/
Alberobello: between beauty and drama.
If the scenario of Alberobello (Bari) among its trulli, is always impressive and amazing, try to imagine what a spell it can be at Christmas, turned and big crib.
In the area named “Monti”, in the very old street called “aia piccola” ancient smoll houses “caseddhe” turn into shops for grinders, weavers, blacksmiths, fishmongers and other forgotten crafts. Torches and lamps give light and surreal dim (yet very realistic in the reconstruction) to the animated path of about two hundred participants, which interpret a script that is inspired by a particular message, always different every year. A kind of itinerant theater that also runs through the tasting of Christmas specialties of the place.
The performances take place on 26, 27, 29, 30 December (from 16.30 to 22, admission free reservation recommended, info 080.432.28.22 and 333.326.16.55).