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The Carnival of Putignano

Carnival of PutignanoPutignano: Carnival on the Murge Plateau

Apulia is the Italian region with the most Carnival celebrations: from Massafra to Gallipoli, from Dauno to Manfredonia and beyond to Poggio Imperiale, the season sees a continual succession of processions and masquerade balls. 
Particular mention goes to the Carnival of Putignano, a town in the Province of Bari; standing on the Murge Plateau, it is the home of the famous trulli and karst grottoes. 
Immersed in the Itria Valley, Putignano boasts the longest Carnival of them all, beginning December 26th (St. Stephen’s Day) and ending on Mardi Gras with an evening parade and, finally, the “funeral” of Carnival. 
The origins of this Carnival go as far back as 1394, making it one of the most ancient carnivals in Europe. It was in that year that the Knights of Malta (governors of the zone at the time), brought the relics of St. Stephen into the hinterland from their original site of preservation, St. Stephen’s Abbey in Monopoli. In order to protect the Saint’s remains from the Saracens, they were transferred to Putignano.
Upon the relics’ arrival, the peasants, who were involved in planting vines, abandoned their vineyards to follow the procession. And once the religious ceremony had concluded, the people celebrated with festive song and dance. Legend has it that a recitation in local dialect, with improvised verse and irony, gave life to their unique custom of “Propaggini.” Today in Putignano, poets recite in dialect on a stage in the main piazza, alternating one with the other for hours, and coming up with their best satirical rhymes to entertain the people during Carnival.
As with all the Carnivals, the town explodes with masks and papier-mache floats that parade the city streets in all their colorful magnificence. 

The splendid area around Putignano offers not only amazing sites to be seen by tourists, but also the prized (and delicious) gastronomic traditions of Apulian cuisine

Useful Information

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How to Get There

By Train

FSE (Ferrovie Sud - Est) Bari (Tel. 080546.24.44) 
Casamassima Direction, End of the line at Putignano

FSE Bari (Tel. 080546.24.44)
Conversano, Martina Franca, Taranto, Putignano Direction

By Plane
From the Brindisi and Taranto Airports.

By Bus

The City of Putignano is connected to major Italian and foreign cities by Lentini Bus Lines.
For information call: 080.9306860.