The week of San Martino (the week that contains November 11th)
It’s not your fault if you’ve never heard of San Martino, certainly the most beloved holiday of the year here in Puglia. Certainly going back into pre-Christian times, the holiday switched from the harvest celebration to honour Saint Martin in the 3rd century AD, the festivities continuing on today in tiny pockets all over Europe. Puglia remains on of the largest cultures to still celebrate San Martino.
You celebrate by feasting, which suits us just fine.
It’s also the first chestnuts of the year, the first, fresh citrus of the year. And it’s also the time of the novello, Italy’s response to Beaujolais nouveau (rushed to maturity through carbonic maceration).
Typical, as a school we tend to take an idea and run with it. Rather than a single day- November 11th- we turn it into a celebratory week. We cook each night by candlelight (Silvestro’s personal collection of hundreds of brass candlesticks, collected over 30 year), and roast the better part of a pig on several nights, making a sauce from reduced grape a must.
We’ll make fresh pasta from scratch for every meal, we’ll roast the year’s first chestnuts in the baron’s stone fireplace, grill nearly every kind of meat imaginable, serving it all on giant platters of fresh and fragrant herbs and empty entire cases and crates of wine, each meal.
It’s also the week we pickle the year’s hyacinth bulbs, a real treat here in Southern Italy. We’ll send you home with some too.
If you’ve ever wanted to celebrate a real, honest to goodness European food festival- first hand, and without tickets or turnstiles – this is your opportunity.
For us as a school, it just might be our favourite week of the year.
Watch the video!!!
Where to sleep:
al castello. 95 Euro a single, 110 per double.