In Sezze once existed different social classes: the “Signori”, the small landowners “Camperi”, the farmers “Cappizzi” and the “Sfuzzini” the poorest workers, shoemakers, tailors, etc.
Class division influenced even the baking techniques as the ovens, a status symbol, only belonged to the “Signori”. They did not attend the ovens themselves of course and everyone who wanted to use them had to pay with loaves of bread, the famous bread from Sezze.
Ordinary people baked once a week in a sort of ritual. The oven was run by a woman, the “fornara”, helped by a carrier, the “carriatora”. Around 11 pm the carrier cried out loud along the streets in order to warn the women they could begin to prepare the dough and left dry wood to start the fire in front of the doors. The dough was covered with a damp cloth, left rising in a wooden chest and then collected by the carrier on the “spasa”, a wooden board, and brought to the oven. The “fornara” baked the bread and delivered the loaves. The work of the fornara and the carriatora was rewarded with loaves of bread, just like the master of the oven, who received the “furnatico”, a loaf of white bread of about 1,800 kg or the “zigarela”, a loaf of about 800/900 gr. The poorest loaf was the “muglitto”, a kind of dark bread. The poorest people received free loaves anonymously, in a kind of a ritual: the woman who received the bread had to hid her face even if her identity was known.
The bread of Sezze is still available in the village ovens but can also be bought in the Pontine area along the Southern Via Francigena. It is excellent to accompany soups, vegetables and local meat and cheese.