17 June 2007

Always something to do in Ascoli Piceno

Too much to do?

When we lived in Albuquerque we sometimes found it frustrating that there seemed to be limited organized activities going on in town that locals could attend. Of course there were things you could pay to participate in, major events like sporting activities and the International Balloon Fiesta. However, we were never at a loss of things to do with the mountains is such close proximity.

Ascoli Piceno is a city that is one tenth the size in population of Albuquerque but there are an abundance of free events to keep the populace busy in the heart of the city. Sometimes in the centro storico it seems like there is too much going on to fit into one day. Since we moved here I do not recall a week-end when there was not at least one event. In addition to the weekly mercato there is the monthly mercato antico and the major events like Il Carnevale and the upcoming Quintana. There have been car rallies and antique car shows, bike and foot races, military parades and bands, folk groups dancing in the piazza, the centro has been turned into a mini Olympic village, special food exhibitions, religious festivals and parades, opening ceremonies for new museums or refurbished buildings, regular events at the historic Teatro Ventidio Basso and ever changing art exhibits in the Palazzo Capitani. Many events are announced with posters pasted to walls in a few select locations in the centro storico. These posters usually only show up a week before the event. As with all things in Italy many times there is an associated food or beverage with the event.

This week-end is one of those where there is more to do than we can fit in a day. All week-end is the mercato antico, there are two different sagre (neighborhood festivals), a festival for a holy relic, they are having concerts for the youth each night on the hill above our apartment and there is a mini-car Formula 1 race this afternoon.

July starts the famous Quintana where all of Ascoli Piceno participates in this medieval festival that stretches into August. It might get hot but there will be no lack of things for us to see, taste, hear and enjoy.

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