The credit for the inspirational idea of a trip to Bardi to see the festival of Cantamaggio must go to Mario Moruzzi who then asked Primo Sidoli and myself Paul Pelopida whether we would like to accompany him to see the event whilst also combining it with a short vacation. So The Three Musketeers decided to make arrangements for the journey.
A few days later when we attended the dance organised by The Amici Val Ceno Galles held at The Holiday Inn just outside Cardiff (which I thought was an excellent event and the Allodi Band were outstanding) we started talking to others about our planned trip. To cut a long story short the Three Musketeers became I MAGNIFICI 7 our fellow travellers were Franco and Tranquillo Tambini, Guiseppe Chiappa and Remo Fecci.
So it was that on the 3rd of May we left the U.K. from Bristol airport flying to Pisa where we arranged for 2 hire cars to make our way to Bardi.
Over the next few days we met up together going out for meals etc. The weather was not quite as warm as we would have liked it to have been but we made the best of it.
On the Sunday that the Cantamaggio festival was held we all first attended the funeral in the church of Rugarlo of John Moruzzi(previously from Ebbw Vale and who was also formerly a committee member of the A.V.C.) who unfortunately passed away on the previous Wednesday. Many people attended and some flew over from Wales to pay their respects. Our deepest condolences to his wife Irma and family.
There were between 15 to 18 different Coros that had gathered in Bardi for the big day they came from various parts of Italy not just from Emilia Romagna but as far a field as Cuneo in the north to Basilicata in the south.
Each group went to sing or dance in each and every bar in the town and all of them contributed in their own unique way to the atmosphere of euphoria that captivated us all.
After a break for lunch all the Coros took it in turn to perform in front of the church situated in the main square and presentations were made to each representative of each group. After speeches by the Sindaco di Bardi and other personages buses started to take home the performers who had long distances to travel.
My compliments to the organisers and the Comune di Bardi for the way this successful event was handled a credit to you all.
I hope that the pictures included with this article can help to convey the joy of the event.
On behalf of myself and THE MAGNIFICI 7 we had a great time I can only recommend that anyone reading this start thinking about Cantamaggio next year. Also a big thank you to Super Mario (the Pavarotti of Pontlanfraith) for his enthusiastic support throughout the trip.