Festa del Cornuto: Inside Italy's Festivals

No-one can remember why Rocca Canterano, a village near Rome, decided to host the Festa del Cornuto, but the main thing is it cheers those who have been given cuckold’s horns.

Location

Rocca Canterano, Italy

Dates

Throughout November.

Description

With all that unbridled passion flowing in Italy, there have to be some losers in the game of love. Luckily, all those unfortunate cuckolds, who have been betrayed by a fickle partner, can be consoled by more than the thought that their mother never liked that traitorous hussy anyway. No-one can remember why Rocca Canterano, a village near Rome, decided to host the Festa del Cornuto, but the main thing is it cheers those who have been given cuckold’s horns.

The event has no truck with lovelorn moping. Rolling down the main street on allegorical floats, costumed actors recite satirical compositions about the whole ugly business of betrayals and bust-ups. The festival has an unofficial patroness, an honour for which self-respecting celebrities would surely swap an Oscar. America’s former first lady, Hilary Clinton, has been lucky enough to hold the title.

Cuckolds who have had their fill of jokes at their expense can pig out at another small festival taking place, dedicated to roasted chestnuts.

Level of Participation

2 – watch the actors lampoon the love-sick.

Essentials

If a fellow festivalgoer suggestively asks you, with a sly look at your partner, if you’d like to fare le corna (make horns), they’re not inviting you to a local craftwork demonstration.

Other Local Attractions

Find a new flame in Rome, the world’s unofficial capital of romance, with beautiful architecture and bars packed with good-looking single people.

Want to know more about Italy? Listen to the World Nomads podcast. A couple of places in Italy you won’t find in a guidebook – food that reduces you to tears – and what does it take to get your travel photos on the World Nomads Instagram page.

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