The city of Castrovillari is very active in organizing events, the following are of particular interest:
Perhaps the most renowned “tourist festivals” organized in Calabria is the Carnevale of Pollino and the International Folklore Festival organized by Pro Loco of Castrovillari. The festival has reached its 57th edition and is organized every year in Castrovillari in the week of Carnival.
This was last year’s programme:-
Four parades which take place on the Sunday, Thursday, Sunday and Tuesday. The first parades are in costumes and masks. The second parade is dedicated to small children and the crowing of the “King” of the parade. The third parade is for the new masks, street artists and national and international folklore groups and floats.
The last parade is a show of the masks, floats made up of 12 floats and 2,000 children. All kindergarten and elementary school children are involved and participate in the activities. There are also a series of plays, concerts and popular, folk and ethnic music demonstrations.
1.The costume show, the most beautiful costumes of Carnival of Pollino and a photographic competition of the show. The photographs are then displayed in the offices of Pro Loco.
2.The Show “Dance School Competition”, where the best dance schools of the area compete.
3.The concert of International musicians.
4.Seminary studies of Carnival
5.The Parade and competition of the masks
6.The school competition of street artists
7.The presentation of portrait caricatures, chosen by the Institute of Calabrian Art
9.Concerts in the entrances of historical palazzos of the city.
10.Recitals of ballad singers in pizzerias and local restaurants.
Participates come from all over the world to take part in the folklore competitions. Generally each group displays in the main square, in the small theatres and an outdoor theatre which is erected by the council. In the second last day of Carnival in the theatre of Protoconvento Francescano there is Gran Gala del Folkore where all the groups exhibit for the last time and at the end of the evening there is a prize giving, one of the most prized and prestigious folk awards. The prize is always awarded by well known Italian celebrity.
It is important to add that Folklore is an important cultural element in the Carnival celebrations and contributes greatly to its success, making it an unique festival. Folklore represents one of the most important activities of Pro Loco of Castrovillari, and consequently represents Calabria in Italy and many international folklore festivals. Castrovillari is unique in Calabria, in the fact that has its very own folk group.
Without doubt Carnival in Castrovillari is the most famous in Calabria. The festival is organized by Pro Loco and the local Council. It is held every year in February and attracts the attention of all Southern Italy.
International Sumer Folklore Festival
The Folklore Festival has been held every year since 1986 and each year many folklore groups from all over the world gather here. Organizzatore del Festival il Gruppo Folkloristico Città di Castrovillari. Further information can be found on the site: www.cittadicastrovillari.it
The Spring Theatre Festival in 2016 will have reached its 17th edition and is considered an important National event in the panorama of theatre, the media, artists and the general public who come not only from Italy but also abroad.
The festival is considered unique in Southern Italy and offers some of the most interesting and varied performances. It also encourages the public to become more acquainted with theatrical techniques.
The festival promotes new methodology from emerging artists. The festival reflects on contemporary society, discussing the ideals of beauty, and renewing traditional methods into a new prospective.
New generations should be made aware, this is neither an economically wealthy area, nor an important metropolitan city, but the suburbs of a small town which is in one of the most disadvantaged areas of Italy and one which also lacks any significant culture. Thanks to this festival Castrovillari has become a point of reference in the South for contemporary and creative drama. Workshops are held for artist where they can meet and develop their skills. This has created great interest nationally.
The festival also gives critics and producers an opportunity to meet emerging artists of great talent helping them to promote their careers and gain acknowledgement for their work. It is considered to be fertile land for the budding artist to develop a new generation of Calabrian theatre.
In 2010 the festival was awarded the prestigious award UBU for its contribution to theatre in the South of Italy, especially youth theatre groups, and the enthusiastic public participation.
The Festival is held at the end of March to the beginning of June.
Of all the traditional festivals in Castrovillari the most loved is certainly the “Festa della Madonna del Castello” and the “Santissimo Crocifisso”, which are held every year from the 30th April to 3rd March. It is a nostalgic event which many migrants from Castrovillari, spread throughout Italy and abroad return to witness. Apart from the religious celebrations, the most waited for moment is that of the fireworks and the concert hosting well known Italian artists. Another loved celebration is the Focarine di San Giuseppe”, (where there is a street party and bonfire) and the “Festa della Pieta”, (15th and 16th August).
Sound Festival ethnic Jazz - Suoni
“The garden, offers the perfect opportunity for young and old to join in with spontaneity in an open space to shed the mask of everyday, and find oneself.” With this philosophy “SUONI” was created with the assistance of the Comune di Castrovillari and Pro Loco. The event is dedicated to good music and the spread of Southern Italian culture. “SUONI” is an ambitious but realistic project which combines local traditional music, world music and jazz. The festival has greatly contributed to the city.
Jazz music is often mistakenly defined, Jazz today is no longer “American” but Latin, Australian, African, Middle Eastern and European, each continent has its own artists of extraordinary and original talent. These artists through Jazz have overcome all psychological and cultural barriers.
Gastronomy, video presentations and workshops are provided to attract first time visitors to this mélange of music.
Organizing a festival through concerts and workshops meant, the choice of musicians and researching the contents, expressing ones identity and vision of the world, and keeping up with what is happening in the world of jazz, contemporary music, literature, poetry and science.
Peperoncino Jazz Festival
Itinerant jazz festival
Calabria Theatre Festival
The Cultural Association KHOREIA 2000 of Castrovillari, under the artistic direction of Rosy Parrotta and organizer Angela Micieli, organizes since 2011 the Calabbia Teatro Festival and the Festival of Corti Teatrali. Each year the festival adopts a social theme, which then influences the content of the performances, underlining the importance of theatre in society. The idea is to promote thought, dialogue, debate and understanding, rather than contradictions, ambiguity and limitations. The Festival promotes contact with cultural operators and the public of all ages particularly young spectators.
The programme, apart from the undertaking of theatrical performances and shorts (performances which last 30minutes), organizes cultural meetings, book presentations, artistic installations, art and photographic displays, workshops, video projections, guided tours and afterwards a convivial music festival. This is the reason why Calabbria Teatro Festival revokes the tradition of theatre as a form of meeting place, a place of reflection and a place to be entertained. It is a fixed date every year in October for the city of Pollino.
Seasons Community Theatre
From December to May
CIVITA…NUOVA: IN THE HISTORIC CENTRE TO PROMOTE TERRITORIAL IDENTITY
The “Civita” in the historical centre, offers the perfect location for excellent local food and wine. Over time Civita…nova has achieved the purpose for which it was created, being a location for showcase the territory and create new opportunities of development and growth. Pro Loco del Pollino and the Comune di Castrovillarie every year in September organizes this festival which involves the whole community.
The purpose of the programme is to appreciate the historical centre as the main town of the Pollino and to add value to the local resources rediscovering the squares, alleyways and widening which make a natural backdrop to the music, theatre, poetry and folklore events. Thanks to the participation of various towns the marketing of the area continues. Proloco and the council of Castrovillari strongly believe in the relaunching of the historical centre and the territory through the promotion of culture and gastronomy.
Three days are dedicated to cultural activity, wine and food, satisfying the tastes of all generations and to vitalize the “Civita”, the architectural jewel of Castrovillari. The historical centre opens its squares, alleyways and monuments for the enjoyment and promotion of the City of Pollino.
Many events have been organized in the historical centre which showcase the excellence of the territory. Apart from the area dedicated to welcoming large numbers of tourists there will be concerts in the Piazza del Castello, theatre and music played in the streets and in the Protoconvento Francescano. There will be an outdoor cinema, street artists, clowns, living statues, giants on stilts and the streets illuminated by candlelight, all which create a magic atmosphere for children while they wonder around looking at the gastronomic excellence of the city and surrounding area on display.
The historical centre provides a meeting place to exchange ideas and now looks forward to a unique richness in its historical identity.