Sommocolonia was in festa today for the Festa of San Frediano – their patron saint.
There is a phrase used in the area which says ” San Frediano – la neve al monte e al piano” meaning that snow generally falls on the area during the third week in November but no sign of snow in Barga today.
Roast chestnuts – castagne and castagnacci, necci con ricotta and vin brulé were all on offer this afternoon outside the church for those who made it up the hill.
The men from Sommocolonia were roasting the chestnuts using the old traditional method and showing off their prowess by seeing who could launch the chestnuts the highest in the air before they fall back once again into the pan.
Any chestnuts that fell out of the pan or even worse, into the fire was a definite loss of face.
How Sommocolonia ended up with an Irish patron saint is something of a mystery as Saint Fridianus (Italian: San Frediano ) was apparently a prince of Ireland who became a hermit on Mount Pisano after going on pilgrimage to Rome.
The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Remarkable for sanctity and miracles was St. Fridianus (560-88), son of Ultonius, King of Ireland, or perhaps of a king of Ulster (Ultonia), of whom in his “Dialogues” (III, 10) St. Gregory the Great relates a miracle.”
He was appointed bishop of Lucca by the pope. During his episcopate, Lucca was attacked by the Lombards. He may have founded a group of eremetical canon priests; these canons merged with the Canons Regular of the Lateran in 1507. – source Wikipedia