FESTIVAL OF THE CANESTRELLE – AMANDOLA – AUGUST 26, 2012

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Each August in Amandola there is a re-enactment of the offering of grain as a symbol of the farmers’ gratitude for a bountiful harvest at the altar in the Church of Sant’Agostino.  It is preceded by a colourful procession with men and women dressed in their traditional garb, the latter carrying baskets (canestrelle) filled with grain on their heads.  They proceed up Via Cesare Battisti,  around the square and lastly down the steps leading into the church.  As this festival always coincides with the festival for the Blessed Antonio, there is a lot of celebrating in town.  In fact, it begins the prior evening with a candlelight procession which slowly meanders up Via Cesare Battisti and into the church.  On the day of the celebration, the square is crowded with locals and tourists, vying for a view or for a photo of this unique procession.  The visitors are serenaded by the local band and entertained by the saltarello, a traditional dance performed by a local group.  Not to be overlooked is a sampling of vino cotto (cooked wine similar to sherry) along with cantucci, local hazelnut cookies.