How did September get here? What happened to August? The pandemic – duh – no wonder I have no stories to tell of the annual August festa. Remember the year I tried to write about each of the seven events and slept through the last two? August in Pontelandolfo is usually jam-packed with concerts, art exhibits, processions, remembrance celebrations, Feragosto picnics and house parties. Pontelandolfesi from all over the world return home to eat, drink and reminisce with family seen only once every few years. This year, thanks to the pandemic, the monthlong whirlwind didn’t happen.
No stage was set up in Piazza Roma.
Performing artists weren’t contracted or were cancelled.
Ri Ualanegli, our internationally acclaimed folk dance company, didn’t host a 2020 dance festival.
What did happen in August? Gardens were tended. Crops harvested. Produce canned. Bars opened. Cards were shuffled. People strolled the piazza. Families ate, drank and enjoyed each other. Trekking, forest foraging and picnics took place in the mountain. Beaches were visited. Kids started thinking about school starting on September 14th. Some folks did the usual August thing and went on vacations. Returning vacationers caused a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Pontelandolfo is a microcosm of good health. During the pandemic, there has only been one case of Covid. Perhaps it is the mountain air and great wine. I will start thinking about next August and what a joy the annual festa will be.