Sounds of the Zampognari at Christmas

Zampognari often play "Quando Nascette Ninno", the original version of Italy's favorite Christmas carol "Tu scendi dalle stelle"
Zampognari often play "Quando Nascette Ninno", the original version of Italy’s favorite Christmas carol "Tu scendi dalle stelle"

While American youngsters put their shoes outside hoping that Saint Nick will leave them goodies, six-year old Filippo Brienza of Bologna put his shoes on to go see the Zampognari play. He waited all year for the beginning of December when his father would take him to Piazza dell’Orologio to listen to the beautiful bagpipe melodies.

“I’ll admit I liked it especially because there was a gelateria nearby and my dad would buy me a cup of zabaione [whisked egg with black coffee] on the way back home, but the Zampognari have a cool sound that I loved,” said Filippo.

These bagpipe players were originally shepherds who came down from the hills to spend Christmas with family and entertain passersby at local shrines. Today’s Zampognari tend to be older men whose families have a Zampognari tradition. They have become a popular holiday attraction and play mainly for entertainment.

Read full article published by L’Italo Americano on December 10, 2014 by Jane Huson: http://italoamericano.com/story/2014-12-10/Zampognari

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