"Call of March": a great, original and festive event that parade through the streets of the spa town, Recoaro Terme, hundreds and hundreds of people in costume , or in groups, on foot or on carts prepared with all kinds of scenes, showcasing an extraordinary range of objects, tools and evidence of the civilization and tradition "Cimbrian ". (via this link)On Saturday night I was googling and reading up on Soave, so I could better answer some of the questions that that kids had about the castle and walled city. Well on one link from a local B&B, I found a list of day trips from Vicenza. One click led to another and I discovered the town of Recoaro Terme. It's actually known for it's famous mineral water springs and it's resorts/spas but as I was reading about Recoaro I read a byline about a special festival and parade that happens every two years (even years only) on the last Sunday in February.
The feast fell on the last Sunday of February. Then it was the spontaneous expression of joy that permeated the minds of the mountain people, forced to remain closed in the houses and stables for four or five months, when the first warm spring melted the ice and winter every relation and the normal communications between the districts is that the center of the country. Towards dusk, after having gathered in crowds in their districts, hundreds of shepherds, herdsmen, farmers, and their families down in the village, dressed in outlandish costumes and fashions, in procession compact between a devilish hubbub.(don't mind the rough translation...google did that for me).
When I realized that it was the next day I said we had to go. I mean the kids loved a castle but a parade? Italian or not, it's a parade. We knew there would be yummy foods, we knew we'd be closer to the mountains and we also knew that if we didn't go, our next chance wouldn't be until 2014. So we woke up Sunday and we went!
I will be the first to admit that while I knew it was 45 minutes away and obviously because it has springs, it's near the mountains, I did not put two and two together and realize that it was IN the mountains. From our house we can see the Dolomite mountains and then the Alps behind them. We actually took a 3 mile long tunnel through the Dolomites and Recoaro is nestled between the two mountain ranges.
After the drumline there were more floats. Each float was pulled by a tractor or a small truck. Several just barely fit through the buildings! A volunteer policeman was helping direct.
The kids favored the floats that were giving out cookies, bread and candy. Usually these treats were handed out by kids who were in the parade themselves.
There was so much going on and surprisingly, though we don't speak or understand much Italian, it was very easy to understand the little skits just based on what they were doing, their expressions and their mannerisms.
There were several animals in the parade as well. The boys' favorites were the chickens and the sheep!
Then almost as quickly as they got there, someone yelled and they all stopped. They were obviously intoxicated, lol and resumed drinking as soon as they stopped.
So they sat on that ledge (which made me nervous!) and drank and laughed until....
(hopefully the video works)...
It was amazing! Suddenly that HUGE log came out of nowhere and coming down a hill, we immediately realized why they had to keep stopping and waiting. (the drinking was just fun I guess!)
Shortly after this, we made our way back to the car. We had watched over 40 floats and they were still going strong, but my kids weren't. After walking and standing for almost 5 hours, they were tired. So we trudged back up to the parking lot. Once there we snapped a few more pics...
Okay, kinda right. It started out okay. We were on a nice two lane road up the mountains...we even pulled over and let the kids play in the snow for a bit (which turned out to be their favorite part of the day)
(sorry this post was so long but I wanted to make sure to save everything. If we're friends on facebook, I realize much of my blog is repetition...I share on Facebook the condensed version but I still want to have the real trip, excitement, photos and story documented for the kids'...which is the purpose of this blog.)