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Area (sq km): 301,230
Population: 58,103,033
Nationality: Italian
Local Name: Italia
Language: Italian,
Time Zone: +1 GMT
Currency: 1 euro = 100 cents
Capital: Rome
Dialling Code: +39
Electricity: 230V/50Hz
Internet Code: .it
Religion: Roman Catholic,
Climate: Mediterranean,
Government: Republic
Inoculations: None
Driving: Right
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Banking: M-F 8.30-13.30,
Major Airports: Bologna(BLQ),

Saint Dominic Snake Festival - Italian villas

Slightly scary and not just a little bit bizarre is the Snake Charmer's Festival in Abruzzo to see when you book Italian villas. The event is also known as Festa di San Domenico Abate (translates as the "Festival of Abbot Saint Dominic"). No matter what you call it, this little town of Cocullo is home to one of the most unique and freaky spectacles in the world!

Snake Charmer Festival
Snake Charmer Festival

Festival of Saint Dominic

The story is certainly unusual, and even unbelievable, but when you rent Italian villas for this festival, you'll be left with no choice but to believe. The first version of the story tells of Saint Dominic, the patron Saint of Cocullo in Abruzzo. As legend has it, in the 11th Century the village fields were overrun with snakes. Saint Dominic is said to have cleared the fields of the snakes and as a lasting show of gratitude the villagers drape his effigy in snakes annually.

The other versions date all the way back to 700BC. With the land still covered in a mass of serpents, Apollo ordered the villagers to gather the snakes and take them to his statue. When they were laid across it they became tame.

Snake Festival

The Festival of the Snakes technically lasts for two months. It begins on 19 March when the people of Cocullo begin to capture snakes (nonvenomous of course). They do so until the first Thursday of May.

On that day a procession marches through the village carrying the statue with the captured snakes draped over it. As the crowd gathers, mass is broadcast over loud speakers and there are sideshows to keep the people entertained. From the comfort of private Italian villas explore the Abruzzo region further after witnessing the Snake Charmer's Festival. If you're not too keen on snakes, then you'll probably be hoping that Saint Dominic will make an appearance once again!

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