There’s a risk for the historical memory to mistake the bonfires which every year on the night before San Giuseppe’s feast traditionally lighten up the shores with the burning of the witches. The first ones emit the light flames of games in a sort of Palio between the different village hamlets. All the contenders must be young and live in the hamlet they want to represent, older people are on the fringe nostalgically thinking about the time when they were the protagonists.

The preparation of the piles to burn hasn’t changed much: the pole (palòtt) supporting the dried brushwood must be cut in a poaching way and even the bundles of twigs must be stolen. Every team must then hide their “wood treasure” and take care of it avoiding any rival theft of the same.

On the morning of decisive day the different groups position their pyres waiting till it gets dark then once the fires are lit they all look out at the lake because in the dark a pirate raid could try to put out the enemies’ bonfire. The group whose fire burns the longest wins the Palio and till the next year all contenders are great friends again.


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