Soriano nel Cimino and its typical product: the Chestnut Festival

sagra delle castagne chestnut festival

Every year in October the Chestnut Festival in Soriano nel Cimino attracts hundreds of tourists thanks to the fabulous local product and the evocative medieval atmosphere that is masterfully recreated, thanks to the commitment and the heart of all the people who work on this project.

During the event, the village abandons modernity to go back 700 years: nothing is left to chance and the whole country is treated in detail: from the drawbridge that allows access to the castle, to the banners, the shop signs, and even to the point of hiding, within the pedestrian area of ​​the historic center, the road signs.

Many are the initiatives that come to life with the Chestnut Festival, we point out the Convivium Secretum, or a culinary journey through the typical local dishes of the medieval era, which includes a competition where the four districts Rocca, Papacqua, San Giorgio and Trinità challenge each other. All accompanied by musicians and jesters in settings always rigorously cared for a total immersion in the historical period.

For fans of local history, the Festival was born to recall some dramatic events that took place in 1489: that is, the attempt by the lord of Vignanello, Pier Paolo Nardini to conquer the Orsini Castle and therefore the town of Soriano.

Legend tell that an old woman was the first to notice the imminent arrival of the Vignanellesi soldiers, she noticed a torch stirring from the castle tower, and ran, despite her age, to warn the soldiers and the population of Soriano who immediately ran to fight the enemy, giving rise to the battle of the Fosso del Buonincontro. Once the Vignanellesi were defeated, the traitor, having entered the castle, was thrown from its highest tower.

As already mentioned, there are many events and opportunities for fun during the Chestnut Festival: the Giostra degli Anelli, where each district deploys its jockey who will have to take a track ride taking the largest number of rings, and the tournament of the archers, in addition to the popular games, which represent the most fun and carefree moment, where the games of the past are re-proposed, from the race with the bags to the tug of war.

The culmination of these days is certainly the historical procession: in the main square more than 700 figures parade in majestic medieval and Renaissance clothes reproduced by hand by patient seamstresses, whose models faithfully reproduce the shapes of the clothes visible on frescoes or other vintage images. On the occasion of the procession, each district is inspired by the time of its greatest splendor.

To the rhythm of the drums that accompany the figures, the Rione Papacqua parades with ladies and knights in luxurious Renaissance clothes, even with a carriage faithfully reproduced in wood, with typical caryatids and friezes of the time.

The Rione Rocca, on the other hand, amazes with the spectacle of its historical group swordsmen with sword fights, and acrobatic battles, while the district of San Giorgio gives life to the epic clash of the homonymous knight against the fearsome dragon to save the girl.

The Rione Trinità, the neighborhood belonging to the old woman we talked about, pays tribute to her, and shows the arts and crafts of the time, represented by their guilds.

The most captivating characters among the many who emerge with greater force are certainly the cardinal with his red clothes, the falconers who parade with hawks and barn owls perched on the arm, the hunters and the many ladies and bridesmaids who with their sumptuous clothes capture the gaze of the public trying to scrutinize every single detail.

Obviously, in the streets of the town, there are medieval markets and roasted chestnuts, hot and warm offers to visitors, prepared on the large embers located in various points of the village. The chestnut is a symbol for Soriano and people is rightly proud of it, so much to boast their own hymn, which is no small feat, which resounds through the streets of the town performed by the band.

The Chestnut Festival of Soriano nel Cimino is definitely an event not to be missed, for young and old, for lovers of good food, with the Rione taverns that offer traditional menus, and for those who want to be amazed by a unique and unrepeatable experience.

Giulio Pocecco

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