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If you love Italian music, or folk music in general, La Notte della Taranta is an event that you will adore.
Italy's largest folk music festival takes place every year in the Puglian town of Melpignano near Brindisi, and brings together masterful exponents of the Pizzica style. Common in the Puglia region, Pizzica is a version of the more famous tarantella dance style and involves a spectacular blend of dance and music.
The festival itself started in 1998, and has become extremely popular in that short time. Over the course of the late spring and summer, the organisers stage a succession of concerts all over Puglia that feature folk musicians from the area.
The climax of the concert series is known as the 'Concertone' – a true musical feast. 2017's version is scheduled for the 26th of August. So, if you are wondering what to do in Brindisi during a summer holiday, be sure to purchase tickets for the festival as soon as possible.
When you attend, you'll join 150,000 other music lovers in the suburb of Melpignano, where local and international artists will display their talents under the supervision of a high-profile director.
It's far from a traditional folk music festival; the event has evolved to welcome all kinds of musicians. Recent examples have included Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Paul Simonon from the Clash. All of them add their unique twist to Pizzica music, creating a magical range of sounds and rhythms.
You can expect jazzy interpretations, upbeat dance versions and relaxed, romantic melodies, all in an impressive venue that is not far from the centre of town.
At the same time, there are satellite performances in a nearby square. Known as the Altra Tela, these smaller stages give attendees a chance to check out a wide range of Pizzica bands and to dance to their heart's content.
If you want to experience La Notte della Taranta, Air Dolomiti provides plenty of connections with Brindisi through the whole summer period (from July 31 to August 27). Book your flights, accommodation and concert tickets and get ready for a summer delight in south-eastern Italy.
Photo credits: Kash Gabriele Torsello