Verzino between Mediterranean sounds, anti-mafia culture and hospitality: four days of music and culture at the “Amore & Rabbia” festival


By John

From the extraordinary solos by marranzano that accompanied the debut concert of the Lautari; to the final bang of the Salento group of Alla Bua. And in between: the overwhelming sound of Ciccio Merolla; pop rock and reggae by Francis DiBella, the Mediterranean melodies of John Block; and again: the refined executions of Alessandro Santacaterina, Vincenzo Gagliani And Francis Loccisano.

Quality music once again this year was the leitmotiv of the evenings of the Amore & Rabbia Festival which from 12 to 15 August enlivened and filled the streets and squares of the small village of Verzino in the Upper Crotone area with sounds and joy. 1996 is the location for the festival that offers Mediterranean music and important cultural events.
Even the program of the XIV edition of the Festival (resumed in 2020 after a 12-year interruption), set up by the cultural association “La Ginestra” offered a four-day event full of concerts and initiatives. “Neither mafia, nor walls, nor fences”, was the theme chosen by the association chaired by Pino Urso which began on Saturday 12 August with a meeting (sponsored by the Municipality of Verzino and the Ministry of the Interior) on the theme of legality and the fight against the mafia. The courtyard of the seventeenth-century Palazzo Ducale, seat of the Town Hall, hosted the testimonies of some mayors (including that of Pine Mussel, mayor of Verzino), who have been intimidated. The contribution provided by the former mayor of Roccabernarda is also important Francis Coco and by the major of the Guardia di Finanza Joseph Campobasso. This was followed by the illustration of the river of Raphael Sorrentino “Fehida” on the Duisburg massacre.

Also interesting was the discussion on Sunday 13 August on women and immigration to which they gave, among others, their contribution and their testimony, Manuelita Scigliano of the Sabir association, Sarah Bitonti of the 26 February Network (both at the forefront of welcoming migrants) and the teacher Ginetta Rotondo author of “I just wanted to be happy”.
The ancient building built in the seventeenth century by the feudal lord of the time, hosted the photographic exhibition “Fimmine” and the extraordinary shots of Valerio Nicolosi (“Ants”) on immigration. The courtyard of the town hall also hosted the seminar on the swing guitar which saw the protagonist on August 14th, the young but already very good composer Alexander Santa Caterina which was awarded the Amore & Rabbia Award this year. Santacaterina and with him Loccisano – who can be considered his master – and Gagliani who draws irresistible rhythms with his tambourine, then repeated themselves on the stage of the review which the previous evening had offered to a packed Piazza Campo, a extraordinary performance by Ciccio Merolla. The Neapolitan percussionist with his catchphrase (“Malatìa”) made the whole square dance. As happened, on the final evening, with the Alla Bua. Their overwhelming Salento pizzica was the soundtrack of the epilogue of an appointment that lived up to expectations at all. Among the enthusiastic applause of the audience, the president of “La Ginestra” Pino Urso e Pasquale Rizzo who introduced the evenings, have made an appointment for summer 2024 at edition number XV.