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Here begins the story of Notte delle Luci, an Italian festival of lights.
Once upon a time, in the year 1600, there was a small town that was saved from the plague. The town was called Scorrano and its saviour was Santa Domenica.
Santa Domenica became the town’s patron saint and each year, on her feast day of the 5th July, the townsfolk lit a candle to show their gratitude.
Over time the tradition grew. Candles became oil lamps, lamps became bulbs, and people started to attach them to wooden arches.
The arches morphed and multiplied into evermore elaborate shapes of bigger and bigger size. They were called luminarie.
Years passed and three companies held on to the luminous legacy, making it famous throughout the land.
People travelled from far and wide for the 5-day festival of lights – the Notte delle Luci.
They enjoyed the local cuisine and culture, the snacks of freshest taste, but of course the main act was the lights.
And what a show it was.
Pink Floyd blared and the lights danced to its thunder, before prancing to Frank Sinatra.
People oohed and ahhed at the extraordinary performance of lights, choreographed expertly to its tunes.
The shows cycled through the night, the people never tiring of their sight, always eager for another view.
The town glowed in devotion.
On some days the skies were illuminated too in a spectacular display of pyrotechnics.
…but the lights always stole the show.
Welcome to the most psychedelic festival in Italy. The word you’ll find is ‘Wow”.
Useful info on Notte delle Luci
Notte delle Luci takes place in Scorrano, a small town in the southern region of Puglia in Italy. It is around two hour’s drive from Bari airport and one hour 30 minutes from Brindisi, which are both served by standard and budget airlines. There are only a couple of accommodation options in town, including the charming B&B Li Curti where we stayed. Aside from the festival, there is little else to see and do in Scorrano, so another option would be to base yourself in a different town and travel in for the festival. For example, you could stay in the baroque city of Lecce (45 minutes from Scorrano), or one of the seaside towns such as Otranto (30 minutes drive from Scorrano). There are trains in Puglia but none go to Scorrano and we’d recommend travelling by car anyways as it is far more convenient and allows you to explore more of the region’s hidden gems. Our next post will give some suggestions for more things to do in Puglia, and we have a video coming soon!