Those in the Norman-Swabian village of Lagopesole on August 12 will find themselves on a journey back in time
Those in the Norman-Swabian village of Lagopesole on August 12 will find themselves on a journey back in time, around the mid-1200's and will cross paths with the "notary" Jacopo da Lentini, or with Leonardo Fibonacci and his mathematical genius, or with Michael Scot, astrologer and adviser to the Puer Apuliae (the Boy from Apulia, one of the nicknames of Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor).

They would certainly see Hermann Von Saltza, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, the "scomunicato "(excommunicated), who had successfully led the crusade, which ended with a diplomatic agreement between the Stupor Mundi (the Wonder of the World, another of Frederick's nicknames) and the Egyptian Sultan Malik al-Kamil, recovering the Holy City , Bethlehem, Nazareth and Acre, which brought the Swabian-Norman anathema by Pope Gregory IX. And admire the Stupor Mundi Frederick II, escorted by Giovanni Moro's Saracen Guards of Lucera, in the red manor fortified by his Hauteville ancestors, together with the beloved Bianca Lancia and his favorite son Manfred, the future king who was born in Venosa and also mentioned by Dante in his Divine Comedy. Return to the atmosphere and charm of the court of the Emperor Frederick thanks to a parade organized by UNLA (National Union for the Fight Against Illiteracy) Lagopesole, with contributions from Regione Basilicata, APT Basilicata and the City of Avigliano, and in collaboration with the management of "The World of Frederick" and the Castle Cooperative, which comes to Lagopesole in 2014 for its 15th meeting. The event is a re-enactment reminiscent of the distant 1242, which the Emperor, according to sources, spent in Lagopesole. There was a sumptuous imperial procession that came on that day in August from the castle of Melfi.

Crossing Rapolla, Barile and Rionero, the caravan stopped to graze at Agromonte: from here, after a long journey, the beloved castle of Lagopesole had become closer. A neat row of men and beasts of burden were holding the King's baggage and that of his household, cards and books of Aristotle and Avicenna, treasures of the Crown, and a menagerie of barkless greyhounds, Pier delle Vigne, chancellor and secretary to the King, doctors, physicians, astrologers and sorcerers, the son of the new lord of Vitalba, Riccardo Filangeri, court falconer, and Adenolfo Pardo, imperial huntsman. And again, close to him were his son, the young sapling Manfred, gift of love of his beloved wife Bianca Lancia, the harem, the faithful Saracens of Lucera, and the light infantry of Puglia. Passing through the entrance of the twin towers, the multiform jubilant procession flooded the main courtyard, the still unfinished castle welcomed the retinue.

The Emperor returned to the red manor in September 1250, near the border with Puglia, in the year of his death. After he was excommunicated at the Council of Lyons in 1245, and the major defeat he suffered near Parma in 1248, it was the sunset of his dream for German imperial control of Italy. From the imperial apartments Frederick, thoughtful and tired, perhaps, often viewed his beloved Montecaruso forest, dreaming of his days of hunting and pleasure, unaware or foreboding, perhaps, that this was really his last summer. This rich 2014 edition will start at 6:30 pm with the Corteo Storico (historical costume parade) as well as gastronomy, crafts, the charm of a timeless story, in which a whole village comes alive to receive an important guest.

Moreover, Edition 2014, which falls this year on the international circuit of the "Via Francigena" (an ancient road and pilgrimage route running from France to Rome), was built on a traditional foundation with innovative elements, developing alongside the organizers a number of associations: “Prometeo” (Prometheus), "Cantieri sociali " (social shipyards), “Il Cigno" (The Swan), as well as the active contribution of the participating businesses hosting attractions to draw attention to the gastronomic journey called "From Frederick II to the Present Day." Seven local establishments will become medieval inns and each of them will be offering a gourmet product and animation; in a specially dedicated area there will also be a classic game in which both children and adults can participate. Also new this year will be a falconer on horseback, the restoration of the falconry show, and teaching on falconry with a display of hawks by Bit Movie of Potenza that you can attend for the evening in one space set up for this purpose. Meanwhile, from 9:00 pm to 9:35 pm at the castle, "The World of Frederick II", built on a screenplay written by Raffaele Nigro, will be shown. which includes local actors as well as extras from Lagopesole and from all locations in the Basilicata region, and with the special participation of the actors Remo Girone, Lorenza Indovina, Rodolfo Bianchi and Antonio Manzini.

Tourists will be given a map of the path and the various stages, which will go on from 7:30 pm until midnight. All the while the open space in front of the Holy Trinity Church will be set up for watching medieval duels between soldiers of the "Knights of the White Spear". "It was very tiring but we made it", says Leo Pace, chairman UNLA Lagopesole. For us it is essential that the entire community has rallied around the event, which annually attracts hundreds of visitors and has become the heritage of all ."

Article by Leonardo Pisani
Cathy Farrell