Borbona

Borbona

Borbona is located on the Via Salaria, in the upper Velino Valley. It is well-known for its folkloristic events, such as the “Canto a Braccio”, the “Pupazza” and the “Pasquarella”, and a festival dedicated to a local bean variety.

The rural nature of this community has fostered the survival of traditions which are still ingrained in the local customs. For a bountiful harvest, the local bean called fagiolo borbontino is planted in late May, when Saint Restituta is celebrated. This bean is not only flavourful but also has a thin skin, making it easy to digest. It is celebrated with a festival on the third Sunday of October.

Borbona is home to a music school that trains local youths to play in the town marching band, the “Concezio Colandrea”, established in 1894. The tradition of playing in the band is handed down throughout generations. The same can be said for the musicians of the “Pasquarella”, who go from house to house playing and singing local folk songs during this event.

Another folkloristic event, the “Canto a braccio”, stems from and ancient shepherd and peasant tradition, which developed into actual competitions later named “tenzoni”. Poet-shepherds would improvise poems taking turns and competing to determine who was the most sarcastic or poetic, all the while using the same meter of the great classics.

The conclusion of these festivals is the dance of a gigantic grotesque paper-mache puppet called the “Pupazza”. A person standing inside this puppet makes makes it dance to a tarantella. It is covered with firecrackers which go off during the dance. Towards the end of the performance, all of them are lit, simulating a bonfire which consequently destroys the puppet.

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