Okay, bragging implies that I accomplished something that I can crow about. Of course, I did nothing at all to create the sagra at Campo San Giovanni in Bragora, but isn’t this title a nice sounding pun?
Anyway, you maybe read about my head exploding, but I failed to tell you about the other lovely things at this festival. A sagra is like a neighborhood festival, where the people in the community come together, usually around food and entertainment, and often to raise some funds for those in need in their community. I’m usually in Venice in July and attend the sagra at San Giacomo dell’Orio, but this year I’m here for the one in Bragora.
Local ceramics artists put up a tent and sold their wares. I spoke with one of the artists who told me about her work–clay mixed with stone so it is very strong. “See, you can do like this,” she said, as she whacked a bowl against the table. “It will not break because of the stone.” I bought two wee bowls, confident that they could survive the trip home in my luggage.
To the side of the campo, a man had set up a puppet theater and spread rug on the stones for children to sit on. I didn’t see any puppets yet, but he was deep in storytelling mode. Behind us, a few boys had a soccer game going.
A stage had been set up, with acts listed for each night. When I first went by on Saturday afternoon, not much else was happening yet. So I went around the corner and had a chocolate eclair at the pastry shop Alla Bragora. Oh my. I’m feeding my addiction for these pastries.
But I returned Sunday night and caught the last two songs by a group of guitarists and singers. Then came the singer / storyteller performance that I already wrote about. I loved the community feeling–there was a table of someone selling books, a local artist selling jewelry, and a group presenting information about local wines.
A woman sold a delicious apple torta that had some other flavor I couldn’t place. “Apricot,” she said, though she looked to another woman for confirmation. My friend and I bought little plastic cups of wine for a euro, which they poured from traditional ceramic pitchers.
I love this town.