Barbequed roosters at La Sagra del Galletto this weekend!

by Laura Gray on September 27, 2010

Sagra_del_Galletto_2009_Camigliano_SI_gIf you thought that Montalcino had a monopoly on medieval dressing-up, then think again. The tiny frazione of Camigliano (27 inhabitants at the last count) will be holding the Sagra del Galletto on 2 and 3 October.

This festival has been celebrated on the first weekend of October for over forty years and ostensibly centres on the druzzola-throwing competition, a local tradition that dates from the mid 17th century. The druzzola is a piece of olive wood 12 cm in diameter with an iron border. It is launched by a piece of string that is wound tightly around its circumference, like an enormous yo-yo. Throws can be over 200 metres and the fierce competition takes place on Sunday afternoon between Camigliano, Poggio alle Mura and the four Montalcino quarters. 14th century costume is de rigeur, so once again there is a chance to see local trades-people in piebald tights, leather jerkins and flowerpot hats. There is more of this to come with La Sagra del Tordo in Montalcino which takes place on the last weekend of October.

Of course, food is an integral part of any self-respecting Sagra. 120 kg of tagliatelle and nearly 500 “galletti” (that’s cockerels, not capons) have been ordered in preparation for the invasion of visitors who will eat under striped canopies in the village squares, served by the youngest generation of Camiglianesi. Booking by phone (335-5695919) is imperative for Saturday dinner and dancing or Sunday lunch.

The full 2010 programme and other details are here but be prepared for a vintage Fiat 500 and Vespa show, lots of medieval dancing and an ottava rima performance. Ottava rima is a form of poetry that has been used since the times of the 14th century poet Bocaccio. It has an ABABABCC rhyme scheme and is full of local references and bawdy content… a true test for anyone who thinks they have mastered colloquial Italian.

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