One day during my Italy Retreat For Women in the Cinque Terre, I noticed a poster outside a storefront announcing “Musica and Teatro” that evening in front of the church in Monterosso, so we planned on checking this out after our evening stroll, this time, up to Agriturismo Buranco. We didn’t know that there was also a vineyard and winery there. Soon followed a wine tasting, excellent, and interesting conversation with the lovely woman owner plus a guest who was a linguist from California. It’s always so fascinating to meet people from around the world who for the time, share your passion for travel to Italy. As we share travel tips and adventure stories, we become kindred spirits, who probably will never see each other again.
Over a glass of her wine harvested from the hillside beside us, we ate warm vegetable fritatta that she had just prepared, while listening to the linguist tell us how he has studied the mechanics of learning languages. The weather was perfect, and the views of lemon and olive groves along the hillside vineyards were even more extraordinary.
We wanted to stay longer but the next adventure awaited us. We walked to the piazza down the long winding road to the city center of historical Monterosso, to find not only a piazza filled with tourists and locals alike, but the local chefs were cooking lasagna, fried bread, squash risotto, and of course serving wine. This event is a fund raiser for the church. Even fund raising is done in the spirit of la dolce vita, the sweet life, in Italy.
After eating our dinner sitting on the church steps, we joined in a parade through the town, followed by the theatrical performance of the locals throwing open the shutters of the windows of the building, dressed in costumes and speaking in a local dialect. We didn’t need to know what they were saying, as we got the jest of the storyline, and laughed. After the show, the music started and we danced in the street until late into the night–tourists and townspeople alike. Occasionally, the locals would burst into song.
Here’s a very short video of singing and dancing. It’s a beautiful celebration of fun and happiness. I wish we danced in the streets more in the US! What surprises have you happened upon while traveling?
You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article, provided author credit is included.