Among the events in Castellabate, the Palio della Stuzza is certainly one of the oldest. The Palio takes place in Marina Piccola, in Santa Maria di Castellabate, and consists of a skill game that is repeated every year on August 14th. An 18-metre soaped chestnut pole is erected and three flags are affixed above it. The one who manages to recover them without falling into the sea will win the victory.
The Palio della Stuzza is one of the oldest events in Cilento, a centuries-old event, organized thanks to the commitment of the Cilentani Doc Association. A game of skill and cunning, that has been renewed for over a century in the waters of Marina Piccola in Santa Mary of Castellabate. The Palio della stuzza takes place every August 14, in conjunction with the celebrations of Santa Maria a Mare, the patron saint of the place, on the Perrotti seafront. To make the event even more pleasant, the view of the Palazzo of the same name and the Pagliarola Tower.
The competition is divided into a balance test using physical and mental strength, in which the courageous participants, to win the prize, will have to walk an eighteen-metre-long wooden pole sprinkled with animal fat and be able to grab the three flags placed at the ends, without falling into the water. The three banners are placed respectively at 14, 16 and 18 meters.
The greatest satisfaction for the winners of the palio is undoubtedly that of having taken part and entered the history of an ancient tradition, but still alive today in the heart of Castellabatese.
A little history of the Palio della Stuzza
According to some documents, found precisely by the Cilentani Doc association, the origins of the palio date back to the period of the Great War: every year there are many people on the seafront cliff, from above standing on the walkway or even from the sea, at a fair distance, assist and enthusiastically participate in the prize. And perhaps enthusiasm is an understatement. For those who have had the good fortune to attend the Stuzza, it is a real cheer, a choral exaltation.
The Palio della stuzza is not just a folklore and entertainment event, but it is a fixed appointment every year that no local can give up, precisely because it recalls the ancient customs of the local navy. This is the greatest virtue of the Palio della Stuzza, the link with the past.