The Siege of Canelli

I don’t know if celebrating 5 years of marriage at a staged historical battle would be at the top of anyone’s to-do list, but we had already planned to spend the weekend of June 21st to see L’Assedio di Canelli. The Siege of Canelli is a very big event in Piemonte, and if you want to read a short summary in english, scroll down to events. When we strolled up to the battle scene it was all loud booms, smoke, noise and much shouting happening before our eyes, and in retrospect I should have known that it would be overwhelming for the young doxie. Mister Bentley is now officially initiated into the pack.

They did a good job with costumes and decorating the town to look like a medieval village, and on the whole it felt like being part of an open play. To get visitors involved, you had the option to pick up a “tiletto”, a document with which to identify yourself. This tiletto, when properly stamped (with your name on it), gave you the right to go about town without being arrested by the guards. Of course to get these stamps, you needed to walk along without arousing suspicion from the guards. One guy got himself locked up in a pillory – he looked like he was having way too much fun – but realistically, there were so many in attendance that I think you’d have to beg if you wanted punishment.

The day was sweltering and humid so we were only interested in a few bites of streetfood. People were drawn to the piping hot farinata being made in wood-burning ovens. Enormous round pans were filled with batter then baked until golden crispy and quickly cut and served. Tuscans call this thin chickpea pancake calda calda (hot hot). They were heavier and greasier than what I had expected. MotH says he has tasted better in Liguria so that’s yet another food adventure to accomplish one day.

The obligatory image of hazelnut and pistachio gelato quickly melting in 85F degrees.


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