Xe ancora festa a San Piero de Castelo

That's Venetian dialect, by the way. It just saying that it's that time of year again: time for the Festival of San Pietro di Castello. Nothing at all monumental... it's just one of the few occasions left in Venice that's like a real village fair.

San Pietro di Castello was, for centuries, the seat of the archbishopic of Venice. That's right... it wasn't Saint Mark's, smack dab in the center of town. Instead, it was stuck way out here in what was the boonies at the time; the government of Venice's not-so-subtle hint at how central they wanted the Church to be in local affairs! (It's not even on the map of central Venice listed in the sidebar! San Pietro would be off to the right...)

These days, it's one of the parishes which still has a vibrant Venetian community at its heart. And every year at the end of June, around the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul, the parish goes all out to celebrate: there's the obligatory food tent, offering such classic Italian fair fare (so to speak) as grilled sausages and spare ribs, as well as Venetian classics like grilled fresh sardines and mixed fried fish... there's the annual official commemorative T-shirt... there's the standard art show of local painters and photographers (like Stefano de Grandis, whose work was the inspiration for this year's poster)... there's the flea market to raise money for charity... not to mention the special daily events! Everybody in the neighborhood (and then some!) turns out, together with their aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, dogs and babies (like the random, but thoroughly adorable, one at right).

Now, every single year, I try looking these local festivities up on the web, hoping against hope that they've finally published a schedule of events there. Finally, finally, they've gone and done it! You can catch the schedule of events here!

Honestly, if you're looking for a big budget and fireworks, this is not the festival for you... But if you want a humble, but festive, slice of Venetian life, you can't miss the festa de San Piero! (I never do!!)


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