80th edition of the Sea Festival on the rocks of Sant'Anna


Due to bad weather, 80 Edition of the festival at sea of St. Anna will be postponed from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 July. This was announced by the Head of Tourism of the Municipality of Ischia, Feel the views of the manufacturers of boats, the appointment for the traditional parade of floats in the sea, the fireworks and the burning of the Castle, is postponed to Saturday evening at 21.00.

The festival of Sant'Anna, a unique appointment for the island of Ischia, colours the evening at the end of July.

A marvellous bay ,overlooked by the antique and watchful Aragonese Castle, the unquestionable symbol of the whole island, which comes alive for one night, becoming a living stage complete with rehearsals,scenes, behind the scenes and curtain calls.

An immense stage which comes to life and gives life to scenes written and created by real artists, who from generation to generation create these ' living pictures', real representations, historical or fantasty/mythological ,depicting the scenes of the life of the islanders.

Thanks to the mastery of these artists, curiosities which make the island of Ischia unique in the universe can be discovered, particulars which capture the attention of residents and tourists who year after year choose our shores as a destination for their holidays.
Ancient traditions and new tendencies are merged and amalgamate in a unique admixture which enchants telepathically.
A festival initiated from tradition and from tradition finds its strength and vigor. It's origins stem from the usage of visiting the chapel of Sant'Anna, across the bay, boats festively decorated, maybe with lanterns and palm leaves. Delicious dishes from the islands gastromony , such as rabbit or aubergine pie were essential baggage. An established appointment and not to be missed, especially for those, who on 26th July, were expectant and wished to give thanks to the protectress of women in labour, Sant'Anna.
Over the years a small competition between various families began, regarding the most beautiful and best decorated boat, a competition which has slowly transformed into a larger spectacle, able to involve not only all the towns on the island of Ischia,but also the nearby islands of Procida and Capri, culminating in the creation of the Palio of the islands of the Bay.
Beginning with the edition of 1932 (considered the first edition of the festival) until that of this year which will be the 80th, prominente artists from the artistic panorama of the whole island have taken turns to participate, artists who are part of the patrimony of our “ischianess”.
Over the years, to celebrate an unforgettable participation in the various editions of the festival, various prizes and trophies have been created, awarded by special jurors formed by the heirs of celebrated artists and the public which crowds the Bay of Cartaromana, a romantic section of sea, enclosed between history and traditions of the island of Ischia ( the Aragonese Castle on one side and the chapel of Sant'Anna and its facing rocks ).
A jury formed 'ad hoc' from show business and international cultural personalities, elect the winner of the Palio of Sant'Anna, a banner which year by year is designed and created by international artists, and as before mentioned, other recognitions are awarded in merit of the islanders who gave their all to the festival and the island as a whole.
The Festival of Sant'Anna however is not only 26th July with a parade of allegorical floats in the Bay of Cartaromana ( a spectacle visible from the sea onboard boats of any size or from the coast of Ischia Ponte), but is also a whole week of festivities and not to be missed events. Traditionally drafts of the participating floats are exhibited and judged by a special jury for the award ' Vincenzo Funiciello', an artist who through his marvellous collages recounted the beauty of our island to the world and whose works of art even today give lustre to the image of Ischia and who was one of the founder members of the festival, winning various editions and often participating out of competition.
In memory of another founder member, the ' Nerone Trophy' sponsored by the Sorrentino family, is awarded to the float which has the most activity and use of fireworks, as at the end of each parade Nerone (Giovan Giuseppe Sorrentino) usually set fire to the float.
Various other prizes are awarded to commemorate artists and personalities of Ischia such as 'Andrea di Massa' eclectic and polyhedral artist whose work introduced enormity to the festival by creating floats of enormous dimensions, Domenico di Meglio editor of the dailly newspaper of Ischia and Procida ' Il Golfo', Domenico Buono, Ciccio Boccanfuso and many others.
The Grand Finale of the festival, following the proclamation of the winning float, culminates with the simulated torching of the Aragonese Castle an unforgettable and unique spectacle and a splendid firework display, the flagship of the festival.
The Sea festival of the Rocks of Sant'Anna is one of the island's spectacles which has not only to be seen but also lived , as it's small details show its splendour and slowly steal your heart away.

di Maria Funiciello

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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
  • Cities: 6
  • Inhabitants: 58.029


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