Tarantella (Italian pronunciation: [taranˈtɛlla]) is a group of various folk dances characterised by a fast upbeat tempo, (accompanied by tambourines. It is among the most recognised forms of traditional southern Italian music. The specific dance name varies with every region, for instance tammuriata in Campania, pizzica in the Salento region, Sonu a ballu in Calabria. Tarantella is popular in Southern Italy and Argentina.
In Acuto the dance name is Tarantella. Where can I begin with this spectacular event? It takes place every year in Acuto, usually around Ferragosto, (15th August, the celebration of summer and the Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary ).
Acuto has now become renowned for one of the best Tarantella events in Lazio. It attracts thousands of people from surrounding areas. There are usually 4 great bands who perform on a large stage at the top of the main street. As you can see from the photograph, the main street is full of people. It starts around 8.00pm and continues through the night until around 4.00am. In the main square there are bars and lots of traditional Italian food is served, such as pizza, pasta, Porchetta and some excellent local wines.
Last year Joe and I, with Giorgio, our son, Sarah, his girlfriend, Sarina, our daughter and Sarah’s parents Steve and and Fiona, decided to go to the Tarantella at around 8.00pm. We arrived in the square and met our friends from the village. They had arranged a feast in one of the side streets, just off the main street, it was a delicious 4 course dinner including antipasti, a delicious funghi pasta dish and some chicken and the delicious ‘ciambellini’ local biscuits (perfect for dipping in the red wine), of course all washed down with superb home-made organic wine! Throughout the meal the music was playing; in fact in between courses we got up and had a little dance!
After our feast the real dancing began! We had our traditional tambourine and everybody, including grandmothers, small children and teenagers, were dancing in the street. It was incredible and the prize for stamina has got to go to Fiona: she started dancing and banging that tambourine at around 9pm and did not stop until around 2 am – what a workout!!
This is an experience everyone should have. It’s fun, it’s lively, it’s vibrant and totally uplifting.