CASTIGNANO – Templar Festival, a unique event. In the year 1990 with the first edition of “Templar”, organized by Proloco in collaboration with the municipal administration, the community of Castignano wanted to reserve interest and particular attention to your story with a great initiative prominence and prestige: “Templar, medieval nights”.

The event is of strategic importance for the region and communities, since the knowledge of the past can greatly benefit the overcoming of the “uneasiness of living” characteristic of our time, contributing decisively to the creation of identity culture and society of citizens and especially of the younger generation, who have an active role within the show.

“Templar” Hence, both by the desire to promote tourism the small medieval town of Earth, both from a sort of collective need to revive the distant past but still the bearer of strong sense for the community. The choice of the name “Templar” happened spontaneously for the different historical researches that confirm the presence of the Knights Templar in Castignano.

Compared to the many reenactments that bloom in summer with a similar format (parade of characters, flag wavers, jousting, etc.), Templar Festival boasts unique features since, drawing inspiration a new concept in broader and comprehensive history, proposes an authentic insight into medieval life, plunging the entire historic ancient atmosphere but also offering visitors the chance to enjoy gastronomical shops based on ancient recipe books from the 13th and 14th centuries and the most numerous group of artists and themed around the Italian territory.

The event sees then the reuse of the old Castle and the old town of Castignano, was almost deserted for many years and therefore preservative all functional potential of yore; resume and revives the old craft shops and art; reorganise the ancient typical farm products Exchange places and other social structures as the hospital, the prison.

The same village, for a long time almost abandoned the ravages of time and the effects of earthquakes, also thanks to the exponential growth of the event, has enjoyed an urban and architectural recovery of major proportions. All the activities, as appropriate to a reenactment, are faithfully reconstructed, with a theatrical setting ad hoc and are animated by performances of street theater, where national and international companies are facing to artists natives have grown thanks to the event itself and now operating on the national territory.

The result is an event of great beauty and cultural interest, which over the years has confirmed its appreciation by the public nationally and internationally. “Templar Festival” is then to the viewers as a blast from the past almost magical and prodrome of role reversals that make first-person protagonist, alongside figures Archetypes of myth and history, making him an experience in the combination of entertainment and culture.

During the event are also meetings, discussions and exhibitions on topics with which common denominator the “historical truth” about the Templars, which will deepen the aspects and the latest findings, and they find collocations in places of special historical value that you want to retrieve, and make available to the public (among them, the Church and the crypt of SS Peter and Paul, architectural and archaeological interest for the presence of a fresco attributed to Charles and another very large dated 1436, showing the last judgement).

This critical historical aspect is also present in the months leading up to the event thanks to a path towards providing monothematic Conference on the daily lives of the Knights Templar and the general public in the 13th century. A process that aims at the rediscovery of values and cultural roots of the territory and their spread in the community and tourists, but also, thanks to the intervention of renowned historians, aims at the community’s cultural growth committed each year organizational and operational in all sectors, so as to pursue an evolution and more attentive and thorough.

The element of tourism promotion has been in fact increasing and consolidating over time, so that was attended by the Knights Templar from Italy and abroad, widening the catchment area of the event.

Each edition of the event identifies a theme to be explored, that do not refer only the moments and conventions but also shows and exhibitions: the event is therefore always in natural evolution, offering regular visitors new surprises and interesting insights.

Attendance, location in the country and artistic program

Over the years changes have been made compared to the initial format: the successful turnout of recent years has made the decision to bring the Proloco 5 evening festival proposals. This decision has been rewarded by the total appearances confirming the validity of the event and his interest in the native population and the numerous Italian and foreign tourists, which gradually increased during the various editions.

You created a widening of route usually proposed within an area more bounded in the country, which then included the entire town, valuing panoramas and little squares so far passable but not used as venues for shows, exhibitions, taverns or shops. They were also open to the show churches, gardens, caves, private courtyards, cloisters.

The choice he wanted to give the viewer a more complete view of the village of Castignano and its natural beauty of medieval, joining with it even greater care in the distribution of the public in the various spaces, avoiding crowded conditions and code and making then the most fluid, pleasant and reliable especially for families with children.

The art program has consequently adapted and enlarged, not only due to the presence of new, fascinating natural stages, but even with the increase in the number of replicas proposals, providing viewers with the opportunity to enjoy different performances during the same evening and artists most recollection or always studied in function of the type of performance.

The theme proposed is enhanced through the language of dance, acrobatic arts of juggling, fire manipulation, of song and prose, because unlike in the past when the offer was generically based on the medieval repertoire, in more recent years is made a specific request to each Company to create shows specifically for Templar and in it, based on the specific issue of each year.

The meeting between the exploitation of space, the show and the contemporary has found the perfect blend in one of the most appreciated of the event: video mapping performance, built on the façade of the Church of St Peter and St Paul, in top of the town, from one of the local young artists.

Particular attention has also been devoted to activities for children, which have always been welcome guests of Templar free ticket within 12 years also benefited: an invitation to the families to attend the event as an opportunity for fun for kids but also for the development of a knowledge of the cultural and historical heritage of Marche and Italian.

Performances dedicated specifically to the younger crowd and placed in specially designed spaces, itinerant groups of minstrels and jugglers, presence of animals used in pet therapy, and prepare to interact with small dining spaces, designed to family-friendly and affordable menu and varied, interactive activities and discovery of Arts and crafts.

Development of traditions and youth involvement

Templar was born as a manifestation of a community keen to keep alive a history and knowledge from ancient times, but felt still relevant and part of the community. The event is based therefore once again on the contribution and enthusiasm of the citizens of castignano, which every year not only follow the Organization of the event and animate shops and taverns, but they are an active part of the artistic and historic proposal with groups characteristic and highly appreciated by the public, now theme by convicts to fire, the witches to medieval encampment by the monks to cheerful members of the compagnie De Mafalda “Alchemy” and “Goose” that over time, they followed drama classes sponsored by the Pro Loco Association.

This is aggregate groups that carry out their activities throughout the year and representing especially for youth meeting and fun and at the same time a deepening of the history and tradition of the country. Over the years has been aimed at generational change with a continuous and positive step of experience and skills to younger people and the inclusion of new items in each group.

It is aimed at enhancing individual skills (such as using graduates for communication, historical research, disclosure) and pushing the creation of new original projects (like video mapping). They also searched areas to leave in total management to younger (like merchandising), to develop collective autonomy, sense of responsibility and the ability to work in team.

Promoting tourism and handicrafts

Templar Festival represents the most important moment of visibility for the village of Castignano, not only because of the importance of the event and the large number of appearances, but just for the opportunity to present the village in its architectural beauty and historical, offering the viewer an insight into local traditions.

During the exhibition remained open, with free entry, all the museums and churches of the old town (including Church and crypt of SS Peter and Paul and the Museum Sistino), which not only collect artifacts, paintings and monuments, but also examples of local crafts and artifacts of ancient crafts. Local guides have welcomed visitors by ensuring small guided tours for all parties.

The widening of the trail and the opening of new spaces were allowed the use of some beautiful historical places such as the cloister of the Church of Santa Maria; We have paid greater attention to the lighting and the historical accuracy of all trim levels.

Next to the now-established Inns, whose menus have long been dedicated to taste traditional recipes and typical products of the territory, it is paid attention also to the rediscovery of the ancient works, more and more popular nowadays due to higher consciousness organic issues, social natural products and product properties.

Have been proposed in the form of a shop, market or craft workshop: embroidery bobbin lace, wrought iron, craft beer, scrolls and decorative writing, fabric dyeing natural, handcrafted candles, silk route and hemp, spices, striking of coins, leather, shoe repairs and harvest and grain processing.

Special mention should be made to the two typical products. Le Cantine di Castignano, producers of red “Templar” just tied to the event, were only supplier for the event also assuming the title of sponsor; an entire workshop was devoted to the green anise di Castignano and its multiple uses.

Characterizes the event from a historical point of view and also sports the medieval encampment, with lessons in fencing and archery, falconry and the presence of the group. Templar occurred as well as a unique showcase for producers of the territory, the development of local crafts and the meeting with national and international audiences.

Communication

The communication strategy follows wellhoned of previous years: main site have been confirmed, newspapers and radio stations involved, number of printed materials, signage.

The event has become a solid reputation in the territory and at the hotel facilities: in experimental form started with the latter a form of promotion allowing tourists to access the event with a package of entry and typical menu particularly favorable.

Some changes have allowed studied instead an enlargement of the catchment area in northern Abruzzo and in full page advertisements in newspapers local stationary, different distribution of printed materials in these areas and air passages signs above the beaches.

Particular attention was devoted also to social networks: Facebook pages and Instagram were coordinated into a single release schedule, with targeted interventions on different targets and greater use of multimedia materials (+ 50%) dedicated in the months leading up to the event.