As quite often happens in Barga something that started off as a one-off event, very quickly turns into a tradition, especially if it has anything to do with food. Last year the local residents in and around Piazza Angelio in Barga Vecchia organised a meal of a polenta* in the Piazza. It was such a successful event with over 50 people sitting down and enjoying the autumn sunshine (article here ) that this morning it was repeated and this time on a slightly larger scale and instead of just one main dish people caught many dishes and brought them to share with their friends. To add to the occasion, a special presentation took place at the end of the meal to award to people who are according to the organisers were “The man and woman of the summer”
A very surprised Luca Galeotti – the director of Il Giornale di Barga, stood up to get his award as the man of the summer. Also getting to their feet was a very happy looking Sally Li, who took the woman of the summer award.
Sally arrived in Barga in June as part of the Cardiff International Academy of Voice – master classes for budding professional singers with the world famous tenor Dennis O’Neill. Her soprano singing did not just capture the attention of audiences in the theatre but also captured the heart of Riccardo Negri of L’osteria Angelio. Their whirlwind romance just took a more permanent step forward with the announcement last night of their engagement. A large ring on her left hand bears witness to this fact. Wedding bells are expected in January 2010
*Polenta is made with ground yellow or white cornmeal, (ground maize). It can be ground coarsely or finely depending on the region and the texture desired. As it is known today, polenta derives from earlier forms of grain mush (known as puls or pulmentum in Latin or more commonly as gruel or porridge) commonly eaten in Roman times and after.