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St. Anna the celebration on the sea

S-Anna-IschiaThe scenario is the magic of the Bay of Ischia Ponte: the Aragonese castle emerges from the water as symbol of history, culture and architecture of the past becoming main interlocutor of the village of Celsa that elects it landmark to love and respect. The Bay is bounded by a long bridge that connects to the castle in accordance with the access to the Tower of Guevara, another monumental structure of the island, and the small Church of s. Anna, overlooking the sea, becomes the focal point for those who cross the Bay by boat. Dedicated to this Saint is the feast on day of July 26th , which originates in the ancient sacred tradition of the island.

On the official website of the feast of St. Anna I have found some historical information:

According to the tradition, on July 26th, the feast of St. Anna, Patroness of pregnant women, the women during puerperium went in procession up to the Church, located on the West side of the Bay of the Castle, directly opposite the Sun, under the weight of the tower. The procession went through the sea and the procession was done mostly by boats of fishermen that were, for the particular occasion draped the hull with boughs and garlands of flowers. This in the last century and probably even before.

But since the 1930’s the feast become a popular folk and over time the most charming one of the island for the setting and the originality of the parades of decorated rafts in the water in front of the church dedicated to Santa.

The idea of decorated boats derives from an idea to a group of friends who from the beach kept the long rows of fishermen and their boats, crammed with relatives and steaming trays of rabbits and same eggplant, and went to the Church of St. Anna, to honor and pray to the Saint. The boats were decorated in various ways, with reeds, branches, balloons and lamps. And so the Group of friends thought a prize for the nicest boat.

Since then the parade, born out of pure randomness devotion to the Saint, becomes a race, so boats, allegorically representing episodes, stories, myths and characters related to the island of Ischia, they become veritable theatrical equipment where technology and construction, are at the base of the scenic, useful mechanisms to less obvious and striking, while workers, technicians and artists are put to the test for the creation of the most beautiful boat, exciting and unexpected

The memory leads to the most famous floats of Carnival of Viareggio, but the particular show and its location, makes this event one of a kind, so much so that it has become, over time, pole of attraction for thousands of visitors and tourists.

The race was initially held in private, become officially the race of the towns of the island – today also Procida and Capri-and the big party becomes entertainment for the whole island.

The trophy for the most beautiful boat, spectacular and exciting is the Palio di S. Anna, decorated or painted by a famous local artist (and not). So the winner, in the days following, shows on the streets the Palio between joy and contentment.

The most important event of the celebration is the so-called burning castle: a red powder in flames that simulated a real fire in the dark of night, remembering the terrible Saracen invasions that provoked death and destruction on the island.

Bystanders so enraptured by the gaze towards the Castle are involved in a kaleidoscope of emotions, enriched and soothe by the sound of notes that accompany the slowdown of the flames, to offer a spectacular fireworks that closed the Festival.

To receive updates on the program of the feast of St. Anna


Day 22 July at 21.30

4TH Sea Music Festival, which this year will be held in Ischia in the stands next to the waters of the Aragonese Castle

Day 23 July at 21.30

Parade of Prizes from Piazza Antica Reggia to Piazzale Aragonese Ischia Ponte, with the participation of the Folk group "' Ndrezzata".

Day 24 July at 21.30

Vittorio Marsiglia and Gino Rivieccio

Day 25 July at 22.00

Peppino di Capri in concert

Day 26 July at 21.00

PARADE of DECORATED BOATS in the Bay of the Aragonese Castle, as representatives of the municipalities of the islands and the Gulf with the assignment of the Palio of S. Anna. Later, simulation of the fire of the Aragonese Castle and Fireworks.

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