(FIRST SUNDAY OF SEPTEMBER)
HISTORY OF THE FESTIVAL
Each year this festival is organised by Carpaneto’s Pro Loco. It definitely is the most important event for Carpaneto that made the town famous throughout Italy for its delicious cured meat. The PDO Coppa.
The Coppa Festival initially was born as grapes’ festival right in the post-war period. In this celebration there were allegorical floats and the exposition of Val Chero’s products.
The Provincial Tourism Authority (EPT), with its proactive director – rag. Aldo Amrogio – launched the gastronomic summer of Piacenza, organised the festival of the products of the area and Carpaneto was chosen for the “Coppa Festival”. Mr Aldo Emiliani then won the contest for the best slogan with the sentence: “La Coppa che tutte le alter accoppa”, which is a pun meaning “The Coppa that killed all the others”.
The festival proceeded the following year with a big monument dedicated to the Coppa that was set up in the main square (XX September square). For the occasion the dialectal poet Egidio Carella prepared a composition in vernacular that read for the first time at the inauguration of the local festival.
During the following years had wide appeal, even nationally, the “Corrida del Puerco”.
In Scotti square was built a perfect arena with also the terraces for the spectators and, on the central track, after the Parade of the young people with bullfighter costumes – rented at the Scala in Milano – was conducted the comic part of the show with the arrival in the arena of a few pigs greased with oil. The young people in the public, improvising to be bullfighters, had to grab them without catching them by their legs, ears and tail.
The following year took place the “Disfida dei Salumi” (meaning: the cured meats challenge) where the local Coppa was declared “Queen” of all the cured meats.
There also were a few years of suspension of the Festival until 1961 when, during Mr Arturo Filetti’s presidency, the event was organised with a procession and it was reclaimed the topic of the day: “the space shuttle launched from “Capo Carpaneval””, imitating Cape Canaveral – the famous American launching pad for satellites.
Another spectacular procession through the town’s streets took place during the wedding of the Princess Coppa with Prince Salamov (it’s a wordplay, it is used the word salami in a funny way). In that year (1962) also started the Agricultural Festival ending the season. In 1963 was organised a procession with the Vassals’ homage in front of a monumental Coppa erected in the main square. The following year the folkloric part of the event was characterised by an exhibition and a big hot-air balloon suspended above the square.
The festival was stopped again. After the renewal of the Pro Loco’s council it was repeated a second edition of the “Corrida del Puerco”.
In the events’ program was expected a challenge in a small football field, always realised in the main square, with Coppa’s team against the Gutturnio’s team (Gutturnio is a local red wine made of Barbera and Bonarda grapes).
In 1968 a new contest was proclaimed for the best float prepared by private citizens. The following year above a big swimming pool took place the “Games on the water”.
As time went by the expensive processions gave space to big gastronomic stands.
COPPA FESTIVAL NOWADAYS
During the last years the Festival (under the management of Lucia Casella) became more and more famous and appreciated with the help of many guests coming from Zelig, important Orchestras, Silent Discos for the teenagers and obviously lots of Coppas exposed along the streets, the shops and the gastronomic stands disseminated through the Towns’ streets.
Coppa festival today is not only a reality of Carpaneto and Piacenza, but a Festival that attracts visitors by all Italy.
The event begins on Friday and concludes on Monday night with the Tombola organised in the square and fireworks.
(Translated by Laura Fugazzi)