Corsa degli zingari, Pacentro

Pacentro is famous for its traditional Corsa degli Zingari (Gypsies’ Run), held on the first Sunday in September in honour of Madonna of Loreto. Some young men of Pacentro run bare feet through the impervious path that goes from Ardinghi hill, the start, to the little church of the Virgin of Loreto, the arrival. The tolling church bell signals the start of the contest. The church gates shuts down after the arrival of the exhausted and wounded athletes, and then opens again to give them to the crowd’s triumph.

Probably, this tradition is of very ancient and pagan origins, then it turned into the Christian cult of Madonna of Loreto. The run’s winner is awarded with a cut of fabric, once used to sew the good clothing, and the crowd carries him in triumph with the second and the third arrived through the village lanes.

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