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					A Guide To Tarantella in Southern Italy
Posted by Suzy Guese on 07th, June 2012
A Guide To Tarantella in Southern Italy
Limoncello, cliff hugging towns and draping bougainvillea all embody southern Italy for many. And
while I am never one to turn down a glass of limoncello or a chance to explore the streets of Positano,
tarantella remains an integral part of southern Italy for me. I studied this Neapolitan song and dance
tradition on my first stint studying abroad in Sorrento. What I would find through observing countless
performances was a practice that should be very much a part of a traveler’s southern Italian vacation.
European World Travel | The Tradition:
The dance tarantella supposedly began in the town of Taranto in the mid 14th century. However many
believe the dance first sprung up in the 1700s. Regardless, legend has it the tarantella began as a way to
ward off spider bites, specifically tarantula nibbles. Townspeople believed that if they danced, played
music and sang around a person bitten by a spider, they would be cured from the poison. The afflicted
person was also tasked with singing and dancing to rid himself or herself of the poison.

Southern Italy Travel | Vacation in Southern Italy

The Music:
Many classic tarantella shows in Italy involve certain staples in the music department. If you attend a
tarantella show in southern Italy, you can expect to be singing along to classic Italian folk songs such as
Torna a Sorrento, O Sole Mio and Funiculí Funiculá. Tarantella shows usually incorporated a medley of
the most famous Neapolitan songs of the ages. The music and words tell of the culture and traditions of
the land and people in this part of Italy.
The Stories:
Tarantella is much more than just a song and dance performance. The stories of tarantella are what keep
many tales alive in southern Italy. Those who attend a show will go through the ages in southern Italy,
beginning in 1558. The performance aspect revolves around the most important occurrences in
Sorrento and the Kingdom of Naples throughout the last 500 years.

Packing For Italy | Southern Italy Tours

The Performances:
Many travelers in southern Italy, in search of the Amalfi Coast, base themselves out of Naples or
Sorrento. If you select Sorrento for your holiday rental destination, there are several tarantella shows
you can catch in town including Favnonoteeclvb Tarantella Show and Sorrento Musical in the Tasso
Theater. Sorrento Musical takes on a more traditional approach to the tarantella. The show traces two
centuries of Neapolitan dance, customs and music, honing in on the daily life of southern people
throughout four scenes. Guests will go from the fisherman’s story down at Marina Grande to the square
were southern life transpired.
Italy Vacations
The Favnonotteclvb Tarantella Show goes through many of the historical events in the area from the
Saracen Landing on June 13, 1558 to the scars of World War II. Both tarantella shows utilize the same
songs and costumes but they are two very different tarantella interpretations. If you are traveling to
southern Italy in the near future, be sure to schedule a tarantella show into your itinerary. Not only will
you be exposed to song and dance from 500 years in this corner of the world, but you will also gain a
valuable history lesson all with the banging of the tambourine and the blast of fireworks.

Description: Vacation in Southern Italy - However many believe the dance first sprung up in the 1700s. Regardless, legend has it the tarantella began as a way to ward off spider bites, specifically tarantula nibbles.