Zampognari: Italy's Christmas tradition

Dec 05, 2023 1418

Dressed in traditional sheepskin and woollen cloaks with peaked hats, the zampognari pipers come into the city from their mountain homes, performing traditional music and hymns including the much-loved Italian carol Tu scendi dalle stelle. The zampognari are important figures in the folklore of Italian regions including Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Lazio, Molise, Puglia and Sicily.

These otherworldly characters perform traditional Christmas melodies on the zampogna, an ancient wind instrument made of animal hide, whose music is hypnotic and very loud. The arrival of the zampogna is considered auspicious and they feature strongly in the Christmas crib tradition of Naples, thanks to a popular legend about shepherds playing music on their pipes upon seeing the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.

Read more


You may be interested