The Life of the Past

The life in Valleluce has always been characterised by the typical village activities like vine and olive plantations and livestock rearing. Once living in Valleluce meant living in a community where everyone knew each other, everyone shared something and everyone helped each other with housework and the in the daily work. Today we can still observe the remains of those past times: the bread ovens, the stables and the olive oil mill scattered along the alleys and the old mills outside the village. A curious characteristic the village has still now is the attribution of nicknames, usually funny ones, which allow people to identify immediately a specific person. In the past, since most people had the same surname, it became almost impossible to distinguish a family from another so the nicknames became the solution to this issue.

Panemmollo Festival

Festivals and Traditions

The Panemmollo Festival is a traditional event that falls every year on the first Sunday of August. During the afternoon of this day at the senior centre, the members of the Cultural Association “Il Panemmollo” prepare the typical dish of Valleluce in all its varieties. In same evening a cortège composed by women and children dressed up with the local costumes, brings the Panemmollo to Saint Nilo Square to serve it. In the past around this festival other different initiatives have been organised such as the Popular Games which involved and entertained a large number of people.

Nativity Scenes

Festivals and Traditions

The exhibition of the “Nativity Scenes” is a traditional event that occurs every year in the Christmas period. Every year people, families, associations, groups and scholastic institutes are invited to participate in the event. Each participant elaborates their Nativity Scene depending on their own ability, fantasy and creativity with different materials and various techniques. Lastly the final works are arranged in the old cellars, stables, olive oil mills, dwellings and especially in the old bread ovens scattered along the alleys of Valleluce which are decorated with Christmas decorations. Christmas holidays are absolutely the best period where the village obtains the most suggestive appearance in the whole year.

The Twelve Months

Festivals and Traditions

“The Twelve Months” is the representation in the form of a cortège of the homonymous composition of rhyming stanzas that was usually made during the last Sunday of Carnival. On February 26 2017 though, thanks to the Cultural Association “Vagliù”, this ancient custom has been proposed again. The cortège is mainly composed by twelve people who all sing a verse of the song; they’re all dressed up so they can represent the assigned month. Lastly the cortège is followed by musicians who play folkloristic instruments for the singers, spectators and masked children.

Religious Feasts

Festivals and Traditions

MParticularly cherished by the citizens of Valleluce are the principal religious feasts in which they’ve always participated actively, especially in the Good Friday procession and in the Patron Saint’s procession. There’s a custom in Valleluce that during the Good Friday procession the statues of Our Lady of Sorrows and Dead Jesus proceed on two different paths, then rejoin in front of the cemetery and then reenter the Church. For this occasion long torches made of straw are prepared and lit up to accompany the sacred images along the path that is almost totally dark. It is also still used today the “andreccula”, a wooden board with a metal handles screwed on each side which produces a loud and violent noise when shaken. The aim of this instrument is to substitute the festive sound the bells which, as expected liturgically, cannot be chimed on Good Friday.

Panemmollo

Traditional Food

The Panemmollo is the most known and typical dish of Valleluce. It was the meal the citizens of Valleluce could afford, the daily meal at home and at work. In the past, people lived with the harvest of their own farmland and they could not bake bread everyday, therefore to feed the whole family and use the hardened bread, the Panemmollo was born. It was in fact the solution to all these necessities because it could be eaten even by babies and the elderly. It was prepared with all the kinds of vegetables the kitchen garden, lain on bread layer soaked with vegetable broth with the addition of pieces of lard, ham or sausage. When it was time to go work in the fields women used to carry the Panemmollo baskets on their heads with a place mat called “spara” and at lunchtime they served it laying down on a tablecloth on the ground around which every member of the family sat.

Calascioni

Traditional Food

The Calascioni are the sweets that were traditionally prepared for Easter and the Easter period. They are made with a puff pastry prepared with flour, albumen, olive oil, sugar and white wine. The filling is prepared with ricotta, egg yolk, vanilla, lemon peel dosed in base of the quantity of ricotta and sugar. In the preparatory phase the filling is lain down on the puff pastry in several small quantities and coved with another puff pastry. At a later time the various unities are divided with a cutter wheel and the surface is spread with a mixture of beaten egg and sugar and then baked. A variety of the calascioni is prepared in the same period in Sant’Elia, which is called “canascioni” and it’s prepared with a savoury puff pastry and its filling is made with various kinds of dry cheese.

Cruspole

Traditional Food

Since past times, the cruspole are the sweets that are traditionally prepared for the various spacial occasions such as weddings, First Communions, Confirmations, Baptisms and the Patron Saint’s Festival. They are prepared with a puff pastry made with flour, eggs, sugar, butter, yeast and vanilla. The puff pastry is then cut in little strips with a cutter wheel, intertwined, fried and at the end of the cooking is covered with a rich sugar layer.