Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Fat Tuesday in Offida, a pyro's delight

Ash Wednesday, Mercoledi Cenere
Last night was the big night in Offida for the burning of the tall bamboo canes with processions in the streets, a carnival atmosphere, and a bit of last minute venting before Lent.
Raffaele and I took Bacco to the parade and enjoyed the spectacle. Those whose livers were still functioning were again imbibing (not sure what the absentee rate will be today at work). We stayed sobrio which kept the reflexes sharp for dodging falling embers, flying wine, etc.
The piazzas were full and everyone seemed convinced their bandanas would filter all the harmful smoke and keep their lungs healthy. It was another opportunity for many to again don the traditional "guazaro'" outfit.
Young, old, female, male and female impersonators all were involved in the cane procession. It was quite a sight. I am experimenting with a way to put all the pictures on line through i web or idisk and will provide a link whenever I figure it out.
Eureka! Here is the slide show address
Enjoy all 90 or so photos from last night which should give you an idea what the event is like and what outfits to wear next year. Anyone can carry the canes, by the way, if you want to join the procession. I will have to leave Bacco at Nascondiglio, though.
Earlier in the day, we took a road trip back to the mountains to visit a bakery, Il Forno di Collina, which makes everything using biological ingredients including a sourdough starter which is replenished each day. The wheat is grown near Macerata and milled at a biological mill; It would be a wonderful place for guests, especially our Slow Food friends to visit. Afterwards, a run to Visso where our friend still makes some of the best cured meats and Pecorino cheese in the Marche has his shop Petacci. Another great place to visit on a day trip to Castellucio and Norcia where you could have lunch at Beccofino!


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