LaDolceVita – CROCCANTE
Mauro Caruso and his friends visited the city of Catania.
The city is hosting a festivity for the local Saint since centuries, where people get in a total mysticism and the city stops, overrun by sacred images and melted wax. Check out the video from that festivity and the spots Mauro and his friends found
What does “Croccante” mean? Why “Croccante”? Where?
This idea has developed slow but inexorable, thanks to the galloping brains of the Social Club members. One day, after thinking about the meaning of life, Mauro told me the city of Catania is hosting a festivity for the local Saint since centuries, where people get in a total mysticism and the city stops, overrun by sacred images and melted wax. It’s a really big event for all the community and it turned, during the century, into the 3rd biggest religious festivity in the world.
What it means? I don’t understand! Ok, to make it short: in the middle of february the city of Catania celebrates its Saint (Santa Agata) who, according to Catholic tradition, was first breast mutilated and then killed for refusing to renounce to her Catholic faith. During all February millions of believers pour into the streets, praying and shouting thanks to the Saint, while an altar with a statue on top of it is carried around the city, for the pleasure of the believers, who literally go crazy at her sight.
Legend says that the people in front line are the new “bosses” of the city, the people in charge, and this indicates their importance… to let the people know who they have to obey to. Another peculiarity is that the devotees wear a total white dress called “Sacco” and they will scream thanks ’til they get sick. The most deepest devotees even carry a big yellow candle on their shoulders all over the city, for 5 days and nights… and for big I mean something like a 50/60 kilos candle. These candles represent the level of “devotion” of the devotee: it means that bigger the candle, bigger is the devotion for the Saint. Another thing is that these candles melt fast and all the city turns into this thing more slippery than Milano Stazione Centrale curbs.
Plus you have to add that, during those days, the consumption of horse meat (the most typical and favourite food in town) goes higher than normal standards so try to think about this: Catania’s population is usually 300.000 and in those days it turns into not least than a million… if everyone of these folks eat at least 2 horse burger each… for 5 days… well… make the count by yourself… There were barbecues litterally in every corner and the frizzy fog that comes from it’s cooking stays on the streets for weeks. Where they get all this horses? I’m still wondering it… But what about the “party”? Basically it’s the classic italian religious party, multiplied for one thousand, with food vendors, chants, prays, marching bands and all the people in the streets, following the Saints route… and here is when the Club checked-in: it took just a phone call to have the locals Davide LaCorte, Luca Gozzo, Peppino Sirugo and Andrea Motta in it, no questions asked, and we were lucky enough to have Patrick Frunzio, the new wonder camera kid from Milano, on the boat, at his first trip with us and his first experience in the island. If you ever been in this part of the world you’ll know that Catania is situated in front of the Etna volcano and its made for the 80% of volcano stones, a peculiar black one, hard as f*#k, used in plates to pave the road. They’re called “basolato” and have the characteristic of being irregular and, if that’s not enough, pour on it tons of wax and the grease from the horse cooking and you’ll perfectly get the mood of those days.
What does it mean? “Croccante” means “crunchy” in english. “Croccante” is the name of the song we used to listen to in those days. “Croccante” is exactly the sound that you get when you ride those stones. “Croccante” is how you must have your plants when you are shredding it. “Croccante” is how you should live your life. Because you know… “It’s gotta be crispy!!!”