During the Italian summers the focus shifts from its major cities to its coastal areas. As hundreds of thousands of people pick up and move towards the beachside cities, many of the big cultural events find seasonal sites and stages. You can be sure that places like the Amalfi Coast, Rimini and the islands of Sardegna and Sicily come to life, waking from their relaxed slumbers into temporary cultural capitals.
Salento, the southern most part of the Puglian peninsula is arguably the epicentre of this summer migration. I've mentioned in previous posts that this part of the country really comes to life in the summer. There are major concerts and events going on nearly every night with Giorgio Moroder and Major Lazer among the acts that will be taking the stage in Gallipoli, the nightlife and gay capital of the southern summer. But beyond the big ticket events there are numerous local festivals that aim to entertain the multitude of visitors to the area, some of which are more imaginative than others.
I've posted about Bande A Sud recently in the lead up to events. Well, the festival has already kicked off. On Thursday night the small town of Trepuzzi hosted the festival's inauguration, with a street band festival. I had a great time acting as a roadie for one of the groups from Terni who had been invited to participate in the event which featured a dozen or so different bands who performed in the streets of the town before converging on the town's piazza where they duelled it out in competition for the huge crowd's attention. The music continued until 4 in the morning as the bands then each took their place on the casa armonica, that gorgeously lit stage in the square.
Since Thursday the event has begun its rotation in nearby areas, hosting musicians from all over Italy and Europe, and bringing more than a bit of fun to proceedings- like on Friday when the street bands, in the true spirit of the between two seas mantra took to the shores of nearby Casalabate to entertain beach goers and celebrate the festive summer season.
Tonight all eyes will be back on Trepuzzi when one of Europe's living treasures, Goran Bregovich takes the central stage. Organizers are anticipating a huge turn out tonight: last year's marquis event by Caposella attracted around 10,000 visitors, so I won't be surprised if Bregovich attracts even more.
So I'm going to rest up today because by the end of tonight I'm sure I'll be hoarse and exhausted by the proceedings.