Every year the tiny town of Carpino throws a party for anyone who’s interested during the first week of August. It’s called the Carpino Folk Festival, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it focuses on folk music.
But depending on where you’re from, folk music can mean different things. In England, it frequently means restrained dancing around a Maypole during broad daylight once a year. In Carpino, it means dancing until dawn with a punchy, near frenetic ensemble of accordions, drums, guitars and most of all vocals.
Puglia is proud of its local musical traditions and the crowd cheers on the professional performers, whose age ranges from 21 to 98. A choir of nonnas sing in harmony and then a pair of nonnos strum together. Bagpipes, castanets and assorted instruments I couldn’t even begin to put a name to take centre stage each night. (If anyone knows, I’d love to know what you call hybrids between a violin and a trombone, some non-hollow guitars and a stringed concoction of pipes to name just a few.)
The Southern European vibe means that children are as much a part of this as grandparents, with only the hours after midnight being the preserve of the young. Then locals pick up their own instruments (not to mention wine and beer) and strum, sing and dance until the sun comes up.
Money Saving Tip
While the festival is free, you can cut costs further (and save time) by putting together fresh sandwiches instead of spending hours sat in a restaurant for every meal. The café slash delicatessen on the main piazza offers at great selection of meats and cheeses, sliced on demand and prepared in front of you.