In the Abruzzo episode of the second season of Dream of Italy on PBS, Kathy learns about a unique slithering reptile celebration in Cocullo.
The patron saint of Cocullo, San Domenico, also protects people from animal bites, and it is said that serpents came to honor him in pagan times. Held annually on May 1, the town’s snake festival dates back to pre-Roman times and features a procession in which people drape snakes over the saint’s statue and themselves to celebrate his ridding the village of snakes 600 years ago. The procession begins at noon, following a Mass, but plan to arrive early, as the tiny town of 300 swells to 30,000 on this day.
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