ROME — What exatly is the ‘pizzica’? Pizzica is a popular Italian folk dance, originally from the Salento peninsula (in Apulia region). Shrouded in myth and legend and dating back many hundreds if not thousands of years, this dance was thought to have been the only cure for a tarantula bite, or, metaphorically, for someone possessed by the devil. As every year on August 24 th there will be the ‘Night of Tarantula’ (La Notte della Taranta) that is a music festival from Salento, Apulia, (Italy). The Night of Tarantula is a music festival of Pizzica which takes place in various municipalities in the province of Lecce and the Greece Salento, especially in Melpignano and has its highlights in August. This sort of music tour, is going for the countries of the Salento, culminating in the great final concert of Melpignano, which lasts until late at night, attended by tens of thousands of spectators. This music festival, started in 1998, an initiative of several municipalities of the Salento, which sponsored this event. This music festival, as well as giving greater importance to the folk music tradition of ‘Taranta’ and ‘Pizzica’, is a great resource for tourism in Apulia. Musicians and bands from around the world are invited to take part, and recent editions have seen the likes of Stewart Copeland, Joe Zawinul and the Buena Vista Social Club. This year the composer and cellist Giovanni Sollima will be the ‘concert master’ with his unstoppable cello. La Notte della Taranta is bringing its unique, Southern Italian sound to the Outside the Box festival in Boston. Slate for July 13 to 20, it is the largest free entertainment event in the city this summer, with more than 200 performers participating As part of the Year of Italian Culture. La Notte della Taranta will perform at Outside the Box on July 14. For details, visit

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Blast correspondent Luna Moltedo is an Italian art expert and journalist based in Rome

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