Ecco Le Marche
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Two posts ago I started the tradition to quote a Christmas Carol in order to give a hint on the current topic of the newest post. This time the hint would be:

And a candle in the window, a flame against the night
There’s a candle in the window, it’s like God’s perfect light

Candele a Candelara. In Italian the name of this Christmas event speaks for itself; in English I should make a thorougher explanation of what it is about, though. We are not very far from Pesaro , in a little village with only a thousand inhabitants. The Italian name is connected to the traditions of the candles (candele)- making from which it comes also the event that takes place from the end of November to mid December, every Saturday and Sunday.

The legend has it, the first settlers placed candles on top of some hills in order to choose the best place which would have been sheltered from the strong winds. It turned out that on top of Candelara the flames of the candles lasted longer than others. In this little village, everything speaks about candles: its name, its coat of arms (with three candles), its main even and the artisan’s art of candle making from only wax.

 

 

 

 

The historic centre is enlighted by all these little flames that create a magic atmosphere especially when, twice an evening, the “artificial” lights are turned off. Before these two special moments, there are plenty of special appointments along the streets. Candele a Candelara is first of all a Christmas market, so, of course, you’d expect decorated stalls that prepared and sell colourful and beautiful candles, but also the artisans of wrought iron, who prepared also iron character of the nativity scenes, decorated with candles.
But there are also the real characters, whose parade is ending inside the castles.

The centre itself is perfect for all the appointments that the visitors can attend: at the entrance the “Santa Clause workshop” is waiting for very talented children who would like to work with paper, wax, wood and much more; along the streets, don’t be surprised if you meet more than one Santa Clause with a bagpipe: they are 35 in total, and they all belong to the local choir and marching band, singing and playing Christmas Carols. There are also exciting shows entertaining the visitors: waders, playing elves, jugglers, and puppet’s carts. 

For the tumbling stomachs, there are of course lots of possibilities to taste the local food:  polenta with mushrooms, cannelloni, ravioli with mushrooms and sausage, cappelletti, cod with potatoes, grilled meat, piadina , fried olives, and much more.

For the history and art lovers there are also a guided tour that offers the visit to the Pieve of Candelara, Villa Berloni, and finally the Museum of the loom and embroidery where visitors can rediscover the ancient tradition of fabric processing.

Insider tip: due to the uniqueness of this Christmas market, it may be really crowded throughout the weekends. I’d suggest to go on a Saturday afternoon, around 2 p.m. when finding a car park is still not a nightmare. You can wait until 5.30 p.m. when for the first time the lights are turned off, and then easily go back to take your car 😉