" The Gypsies Race" - Pacentro (Aq)
On September the eight are held in Pacentro (Aq) the celebrations of Virgin Mary of Loreto.
The race as been called " The Gypsies Race" because in the local dialect expression means running barefoot. It seems that this race has been held since 18th century to commemorate a miraculous event: Virgin Mary would have appeared nearby Ardingo Hill, for then into the village and disappear at the place where afterward has been erected a church. From Ardingo Hill, the young barefooted people descend down the ravines until they reach the Vella River, and then climb up again until they reach the village and halt inside the church in front of the altar of the Madonna di Loreto.
The winner is carried in triumph throughout the streets and receive the price "palio" (a bundle of cloth enough for a suit). In this race as been viewed " the survival of ancient rites of initiation and passage from the pubertal to the adult age.
tratto da: http://www.concapeligna.it/itinerari/corsazingari/inglese.htm
foto di Giulio Gigante, cc-by-sa-2.0