Badolato Hosts Tarantella Power 2009

Now that's a palette on FlickrFrom 22-26 August, our normally sleepy medieval village was absolutely overrun with people eager to celebrate Tarantella Power,* a yearly Calabrian celebration held somewhere in the toe of the boot depending on which town has won the contract.

Well, Badolato Superiore got it this year and for the next few years as well, so if you didn’t make it in 2009, get out your travel planners!

You may think it’s all about the tarantella, but it’s really a celebration of Calabrian culture in general–music, dance, food, wine, art, crafts, and more. So much more. So. Many. People. I’m told over 10,000 showed up for the Piero Pelù concert on the final night!

By the by, in this video, Pelù is singing a song with Marasà, who I’ve discussed before–the song also happens to be on the CD over there in my sidebar.

So, indeed, Tarantella Power began early on the morning of 22 August for P and me as we noticed an artist setting up next to our house, ready to paint the arch of the never-finished palazzo across the street.

It's all in the details on Flickr

As the morning wore on, I offered the artist some coffee (I know, shocking that I was making some), but he preferred water.

Paint tubes on Flickr

So I kept him in steady supply. It was *very* hot that day even though he was painting in the shade and even though some of the younguns from the group that organized the artists’ visits stopped in every now and again to check on him.

Brushstrokes on Flickr

Sadly, I didn’t get a glimpse of the finished painting as I only happened to look down from the balcony just as he was packing up and walking away, so no photos of it either. We said our good-byes after exchanging business cards, then a few days later, our doorbell rang.

I looked down at the front door from the balcony (our equivalent of the peep hole, although admittedly, there’s very little peeping involved), and there was our new friend, Gregorio Cosentino, with a “pensierino” (small gift, although to me this isn’t so small!) for us.

Just for offering a little water to a thirsty man on a hot day.

By Gregorio Cosentino

I love Calabria.

*For more photos (with much better coloring), see my Tarantella Power set on Flickr.

16 Beans of Wisdom to “Badolato Hosts Tarantella Power 2009”
  1. 09.01.2009


    I hope you had a nice break. I am also constantly overwhelmed by the generosity of Italians. Just when I am about to get too frustrated for words here, something magical will happen, and I will be the recipient of something wonderful which humbles and astounds me once more. I love the colors of the painting, and of your “coppo”. I also love your local celebration, so lovely.

    The fall is starting to show itself around here a bit more every day. Vendemmia has already started.

    Yay vendemmia! I should really try to get some vendemmia photos this year…P’s dad stopped making the wine last year, but obviously there are plenty of other neighbors, etc., who still do….

    .-= Diana Strinati Baur´s last blog ..Art for Women’s Health =-.

  2. 09.01.2009

    Great pics Michelle! I’d love to paint while sipping the coffee you made 😉

    Oh I would love that too, Eleonora!

    .-= Eleonora´s last blog ..New page: Books, books, books =-.

  3. 09.01.2009

    Hi Michelle, wow what a wonderful gift, and as you say just for keeping him watered throughout the day… very much appreciated by this lovely man.

    A lovely gift with fond memories!

    Even better, Anne, is that it’s actually our first real decorative addition to the new house 😀

    .-= anne´s last blog ..A great evening out with friends in Paris =-.

  4. Gil

    How I missed these stories. Thanks! Great artist judging from your great pictures of his lovely work.

    Yes, his painting was looking fabulous last I saw; over on Flickr you can see an image of Jesus that he did, which is printed on a flyer pasted to the back of the gift he gave us. Beautiful!

  5. Richard Curtis


    It is blog entries such as todays that make me so home sick to be back in Italia….I just cant figure out what I am to do with “The Valkyrie7” and 3 cats….they have kinda dug in….

    Between you and the blog out of Napoli I get kinda crazy bout being back…..sigh it is either old age or a deep longing…..

    Love and Light,


    Everything will become clear in due time 🙂

  6. What a lovely gift.

    With all the bad news in the world, stories like this restore my faith in humanity.

    I can’t believe 10,000 were in your village. wow.

    I actually heard 15,000 but I’m assuming there was *some* exaggeration involved. Maybe!

    .-= nyc/caribbean ragazza´s last blog ..Eat, Pray, Love movie shooting in Rome =-.

  7. 09.01.2009

    How lovely!

    It really is 😀

  8. 09.01.2009

    Your good deed was clearly appreciated! Nice tile!

    It’s actually a fake tile! Doesn’t it look real though? It’s actually wooden!

  9. 09.01.2009

    Oi! I was beginning to think you’d been bitten by a tarantula. I sure hope you mastered the dance just in case.

    Must work on it….

  10. 09.01.2009

    You are back!

    What a fantastic event, I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to have enjoyed it with you!
    Love the shots, of course, by the way. You are such a talented photographer! Thanks for bringing me there through your eyes.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    So glad you enjoyed! It’s nice to be back and to have wonderful stories to tell again 😀

    .-= Wanderlust Scarlett´s last blog ..Another Brief Interblued! =-.

  11. 09.01.2009

    I can see why. It sounds like a lovely festival. I only knew of the Tarantella as a really fun dance.

    Well that’s *really* what it is and it’s the center of the festival; all the other stuff is just bonus 🙂

    .-= jen of a2eatwrite´s last blog ..What We Did on Our Summer Staycation =-.

  12. Gotta love how Southern Italians repay a generous thought!

    Keep us posted on who wins the bid for next year. I’d love to travel down from Napoli for the event next summer.

    Oh Peter it will be in Badolato for the next few years; come on down!

    .-= Peter at italyMONDO!´s last blog ..In Search of the Undiscovered Amalfi Coast =-.

  13. 09.02.2009

    You were so sweet and thoughtful to offer the painter a refreshment and to keep checking on him. And how sweet of the painter to bring a token of his appreciation for your concern. Molto gentile.

    It was definitely a beautiful day in the neighborhood, Debbie 🙂

    .-= Debbie Egizio´s last blog ..Where Women Create Magazine: Came for a visit to my studio =-.

  14. 09.03.2009

    I came on the first day of the event, while the piazza was still in the set-up phase. Since the name of the event is “Tarantella Power” I thought it was a little funny when one man came blustering out to complain to the carabinieri that it was impossible to get any work done when they kept losing power….

    I love your ‘usually sleepy’ medieval town.

    We must’ve walked by one another at some point! We were there too, and indeed the music started even later than usual because of the power issues; I don’t know if it affected the other nights. Glad you enjoy Badolato 😀

    .-= Romancing Italy´s last blog ..The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon =-.

  15. I think you should WORK the heart theme! Maybe you can clean up the edges a little and add more color. Channel your inner hippie! And just think, no one would ever be brave enough to steal a something so obvioulsy identifiable!

    Ribollita Reboiled
    .-= Em from Ribollita Reboiled´s last blog ..Little Tony…Happy Hump Day =-.

  16. 09.17.2009

    I have discovered your blog recently through Peter of ItalyMONDO. A Roman from Rome, I am interested in all that is traditional and ancient in our beautiful country. I think that the Italian South more than elsewhere contains precious elements of our ancient culture. It is romantic to see how strong the ties are between the people of the New World and their origins, wherever they are.

    Thanks so much for coming by! I love the south for exactly the reasons you mention 😀
    .-= Man of Roma´s last blog ..The Secret of the Forest =-.

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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