Festas are frequent in Puglia through the summer, and if you know where to look you can find them in the spring and autumn too; but until now we thought that the Italian street parties in January were limited to late presepe – the ever popular nativity representations.
This year though we discovered La Focara in Novolo, near Lecce. Reputedly Italy’s largest bonfire party.
It was certainly a huge party, the entire town was decked with festa lights and lined with stalls selling food, goldfish, saucepans and other random articles, and the park had been turned over to a fun fair and hoards of burger vans. And there was a huge stack of wood… I’m sure the largest in Italy… but sadly the fire was still not much more than a spark at the top while we were there.
The party goes on for three days, and I expect that the bonfire will last until the end. Maybe next year we’ll go on day two!