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Camino al Tagliamento and Its Unique Festival

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In northern Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia region in the small town of Camino al Tagliamento, late May is a very special time. It is a time in which the very youngest of the small local communities usually gather to plan and carry out real “miracles” in complete autonomy. Supported by their wiser elders that have come before them, all the boys know that the time of the CUCCAGNA has arrived. This is a moment of enormous responsibility for the “newbies” of society as they have endured meticulous preparation for their truly remarkable task to carry out: that of taking care of the so-called “Cuccagna Tree”. 

camino-al-tagliamento-udinePossibly of Celtic origin, the “Cuccagna Tree” seems to owe its legacy to the “May Tree” symbol  of prosperity and abundance (with an implicit meaning of fertility). In Friuli, this tree consists of a long and solid trunk – usually made of cherry wood – richly decorated with fronds and fruit and is prepared and erected to be climbed by young people. In many cultures (especially Germanic) the objective of the climb is to grab a prize at the top, but in Camino al Tagliamento there is no climb!

camino-al-tagliamento-cuccagnaIn this area lapped by the waters of the river Varmo, the 72  year-old tradition is unique to the region in that the climb is horizontal. Far from being a customary one, this provision of physical ability in Camino al Tagliamento is a slippery journey on pole that has been coated in greasy, animal fat. Positioned hanging over the river, there’s a final dip for those who make it to the end of the pole to grab the prize under water! It’s an emotional and exciting event to celebrate the culmination of the town’s Bull and Wine Festival Fieste del Toro e del Vin scheduled for 6.00 pm on Sunday, 3 June. Not to mention the other delicious events scheduled during the festival, including tastings, sporting and cultural events and the inevitable bull on a spit.

For the complete program, visit the official website at: Fieste di Cjamin


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