Summertime in Italy means more than just gelato and beaches. Those are ideal daytime activities, but what can you do when the evening rolls around? Puglian towns do not close down for the night. Quite on the contrary, to enjoy the cooler temperatures and the stress-free season, evening means a stroll around town with family or friends to enjoy a host of cultural activities.
To entertain locals and visitors alike, town of all sizes organise a summer program of evening events called “L'estate di . . .” which means “Summer in . . . (fill in the name of the town you happen to be in).” These events range from concerts to theatrical productions to “sagre,” or festivals celebrating a particular food.
If you are visiting a larger city, you may have the chance of to hear a concert by a famous singer or group. The month of July alone will see greats from the past Carlos Santana in Bari, the Village People and Boy George in Barletta, Duran Duran in Margherita di Savoia. Top Italian groups playing in the region include Fabri Fibra in Barletta, Alex Britti in Locorotondo, Modà in Lecce, Fabio Concato in Gravina di Puglia . . . and more!
But big name concerts are not the only option. Here are only a couple of smaller, but extremely interesting local festivals in the northern end of the region.
Pietramontecorvino is a small town nestled into the hills near Foggia, surrounded by windswept fields and a breathtaking natural landscape.
One of its prize possessions is its Norman tower which this summer is the heart of the town's festival “Passa l’estate in Torre,” or “Spend the Summer in the Tower.” Take a guided tour of the tower and its museum by night to learn about the history of local brigands. Stargazing sessions will be led by an astronomer from the tower's roof. All this from 8 July to 21 August.
Just south of Foggia, visit Roseta Valfortore, one of Italy's “Most Beautiful Villages”, home to truffles and windmills, for their summer-long ongoing festival of concerts, food festivals, art exhibits, film festivals, literary evenings and theatrical productions . . . something for everyone! Don't miss the Palio dei Quartieri (15-26 July) when the entire town will be divided into four neighborhood teams that will compete against each other in decorating their part of town and in a series of fun games for people of all ages.
Other important dates include the Festa dell’Accoglienza, or Welcome Festival (27-28-29 July), the Festival Rosetosbanda (3-6 August), the Festival of Apuliae Art, the Sagra del Tartufo, or Truffle Festival (7 August) and the Roseta Rockfestival (13 August).