fbpx

A Steamboat caught on Fire

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Today is St. Sebastian’s day and in Ortona this is a particularly special date. Here, St. Sebastian is celebrated zealously with a combination of religious parades, parties, fireworks and a…less common event. Every year, on the 20th of January,  the  “Vaporetto” (“steamboat” in English, better known among locals as “Lu vapurett”),  is set alight.

“Lu vapurett” is a bizarre mechanism, shaped like a boat, suspended in mid-air in the square of St. Thomas. The tradition requires the “Lu vapurett” to criss-cross the square without stopping. If this fails, the year will be unlucky and fishing & agriculture will prove unfruitful; if however the “Vaporetto” completes its trip the year will be a prosperous one!

“Lu vapurett” is a papier-mâché mechanism encasing firecrackers & fireworks which propel the machine along guide-ropes suspended in the air, until it bursts at the end.

This festival dates back to 1936 and every year thousands of people await to see the show with their fingers crossed to hope for good luck. After the religious ceremony in honour of St. Sebastian, people flood the square and the Mayor has the crucial task of lighting up “Lu vapuret”.  This is a crucial moment as the square is packed with people and everybody is looking up encouraging and shouting at the vaporetto to keep going.

After the show it’s time to celebrate all together at home with family and friends, or going out for dinner in local restaurants. But for a truly special occasion there’s also a special food that locals like to savour in honour of St. Sebastian, “lu puzzunet”. This plate is a culinary delight made with fish-stock, broccoli and roasted sweet peppers.

Another occasion to taste the true Italy made of awesome food, great wine but most of all friendly people!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Share the article
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Read more
Discover Abruzzo
Fabrizio Lucci

What is Abruzzo famous for?

Abruzzo… You might have heard of this region located in the center of Italy, a couple of hours away from Rome.  Maybe you have ancestors

Read More »

Are you ready to experience Abruzzo and Beyond?

The Abruzzo, Puglia & Matera experience
€2,685

10 Days | 5-14 July 2022 | 13-22 September 2022 | 4-13 October 2022 | 8-17 November 2022 | 2023 Calendar

Cultural, Culinary & Walking Experience in Abruzzo
€1,785

7 Days | 4-10 September 2022 | 4-10 June 2023 | 3-9 September 2023

Food, Culture and Wellness in the Hidden Emilia Romagna
€1,985

7 Days | 23-29 October 2022

Love Italy? You've come to the right place.

Enter your details to get travel inspiration, curiosities and amazing offers delivered to your inbox

Discover Authentic Italy With Fabrizio: How to Plan an Amazing Tour of Abruzzo

Our 6-part free email course will walk you through everything you need to know about planning - and enjoying! - an amazing tour of Abruzzo.

We will not share your information with anyone.