Monday, October 26, 2009
On Saturday we went to a nearby town (about a 1 1/2 hours away) to a local pumpkin festival in Italian Festa della Zucca. We went with a couple friends from the hubby's work the Volks (Rhysa, Codie, and Richard) and the Petraes (Ryan and Corina). The Volks rode along with us while the Petraes followed us. We got there early and we were thankful because we got parking right outside the entrance to the gates. It wasn't completely set up yet though (it doesn't start until after 3pm on the Saturday) but we got to watch as the city started to come alive. It was amazing to see the empty streets transformed into a such a beautiful place. The decorations were beautiful, the people in costumes simply amazing, the vendors, food, and entertainment more than we could have asked for.
I have never seen so many things made out of pumpkin and almost everything we tried was absolutely amazing. I think they have the best pumpkin bread ever! They even had pumpkin grappa (which we're sending some back home for everyone to try). I guess they even had pumpkin pizza which we didn't try we went for the sandwiches on fresh bread (so good). We did buy a few things to bring home with us and everything so far has been super yummy (I'm not a fan of the donuts but the hubby enjoys them).
We while we walked around we did take in some sites. We walked through their local church that was absolutely beautiful. I walked into their crypt where there are five mummies (totally strange to say the very least). We sat and just in took in the sites and sounds of the town and festival. Although some parts were in Italian we still enjoyed every minute of our trip. This is definitely something we look forward to doing next year!
History of the Pumpkin Festival in Venzone
One of the most renowned fairs takes place the fourth weekend of October in the medieval town of Venzone, which is not far from Aviano and about 35 kilometers north of Udine. Venzone was destroyed by an earthquake in 1976 and had been rebuilt according to original plans. It started celebrating its pumpkin fair 14 years ago because of an ancient legend, which centers upon a pumpkin. According to this legend, in the 14th century Venzone was almost completely built and had many nice palaces. The city's cathedral and the tower clock had finished being constructed. Unfortunately, the city didn't have enough money to pay the artist who had just completed decorating the roof of the tower clock with a golden globe. The city committee decided to give him just one third of the amount he asked for his work because they thought that everybody should volunteer some of their working time for the town, especially during this hard time. He didn't have much choice, and he accepted the money that the city gave him. But that night he thought he would pay the city back in the same way. He went back up to the roof and replaced the golden ball with a nicely painted pumpkin. He left the city the next day. The Venzone inhabitants were happy for the completion of the work that embellished their city but, shortly, they realized that something on the tower was wrong because the ball was changing color. Only when big pieces started falling down did they understand how the sculptor had fooled them. Nevertheless, the city dedicates an annual fair to this important agricultural product that grows in the area. For a couple of days, the town is swarmed with thousands of visitors from towns nearby, as well as from Germany and Austria, who come to watch the parades of people dressed in medieval costumes ,musicians, jugglers, armigers and knights, who populate the narrow streets.
Now check out our pics from our afternoon in Venzone!
Our drive to Venzone.
The entrance to the town center of Venzone, Italy.
All of the above are of the people dressed in their costumes, of the sites, and vendors. It really is a must see for everyone in their lives!
The crypt and the mummies...weird right?
We're all hanging out letting Richard walk around without all the crazy crowds running him over.