… is an exception. Although it has only a few hundred inhabitants, it refuses to die and be forgotten, which is the fate of a growing number of small towns on the Italian peninsula.
… is a blend of past, present and future. It has maintained a steadfast hold on centuries-old traditions, practices and values; yet it has welcomed modern conveniences (a motorway, a railway, high-speed Internet service), and has embraced the future by having a wind farm built on its mountains.
… is a refuge. It is a place where the air is clean, and where the hurry, stress, obligations and constraints of city life can be left behind. Here you can immerse yourself in nature, with its green summers and white winters, and you will be a short drive away from that vast wilderness park, the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo.
… is a ritual. Once you have discovered it, you will return again and again. On May 1, the most important day of the year in Cocullo, it draws an average of 20,000 visitors (a record 50,000 in 2008). What brings them to Cocullo is the Festa di San Domenico, or Feast of San Domenico, an event of such deep religious and anthropological significance that it has been the subject of articles in The New York Times, Bild and other prestigious publications, has been covered by television crews from Japan, France, Germany and other countries, and has attracted the curiosity and participation of academics, pilgrims, students and journalists from all over the world. It is no accident that the Feast of San Domenico, with its procession of serpari, or snake catchers, is one of the religious festivals for which Italy is best known internationally.
… is a revelation. It will provide you with tangible, first-hand evidence of how human beings can live in harmony with nature.
… is a snapshot. It is like a black-and-white photograph of a quaint old village that is magically infused with life and colour in our own day.
Our thanks to Franca Palermo for the English translation of the site
Photo by Panfilo Marcantonio