Navigate like the ancients: in Gallipoli the Gozzo Festival from 14 to 17 October

It is the oldest and continuously used nautical vessel in the Mediterranean, especially in the Tyrrhenian Sea: but its next party will be held in the Ionian Sea, in Gallipoli, where the seventh edition of the International Gozzo Festival will be held from 14 to 17 October next. Boats that anyone has seen in the various Italian navies, the same ones that children draw since kindergarten with the same bow and stern, shape that follows the wave and is maneuverable both forwards and backwards, facilitating fishing actions. But which, however, are shaped in reality by the ancient wisdom of the ax masters who with simple tools such as saw, gouge and mallet (and ax, in fact) give life to the traditional vessel of our seas, of variable length between just under 4 and the 8 meters, more commonly 6 meters like the Sicilian or Ligurian 18 palmi. Before the advent of motorization, it was naturally the sail that alleviated the fatigue of moving in the sea: and on gozzo boats the sails are once again the simplest devised by man: that “Latin-style” rig which, however, has nothing to do with it. to see with the Latins but it is a corruption of “alla trina”, ie a single sail (the mainsail) with three angles. A handkerchief of a few square meters but highly efficient also upwind, the first sail developed to go upwind after the even more ancient square sail used since before Ulysses. And it is in Gallipoli that boats from almost every region of Italy will be found, from Liguria to Sicily passing through Campania, Calabria, Puglia. Absent Sardinia with its famous Stintino gozzo boats, the largest fleet in Italy with about one hundred boats but very tied to the territory. “Unfortunately they tend not to leave Stintino, otherwise it would be a sort of Gozzo Barcolana – says the organizer of the event, Gennaro Petillo, who has been running it on behalf of Caroli Hotels since the first edition -. This year there will be about twenty of boats racing in front of Gallipoli from Friday to Sunday. There is also a crew that comes from Malta but embarked on a Sicilian gozzo “. On land, in addition to the classic gastronomic initiatives of the festivals, there are also workshops and conferences with the shipwrights of the regions that still have them: the historic – and very active – schools of Marina di Sorrento and Marina di Pisciotta, of the Marina di Catona, of Marsala and the two Gallipoli masters in business today. “We await the confirmation of the youngest ax master in Italy with his 35 years, the Ligurian Cesare Cortale”, continues Petillo. “The construction of the gozzo is artisanal and respects the ancient traditions of the seafaring of the place – reads the presentation of the Festival -, making it the protagonist of the event gives the opportunity to rediscover the history, customs and traditions of each locality and preserve the cultural heritage that it represents by continuing to bring to life the ‘knowledge’ that otherwise would have been lost “. The gozzo, called by all in Italy” gozzetto “given the affection it inspires, is so ancient that even the name has uncertain origins. The only certainty is due to the “Marine and Military Vocabulary” by Alberto Guglielmotti, published in Voghera in 1889, which attributes the birth of the definition from the resemblance to “the stomach sac of birds”. However, Treccani defines the etymology as “uncertain”. “But that of Guglielmotti is the most probable even if we do not have total certainty – says Giuseppe Piccioli Resta, professor of Geography at the University of Salento, who at the Festival will hold a dissertation on the nomenclature linked to traditional fishing boats, from the felucca al leudo al gozzo-. It should be a dialectal form from Livorno from the 14th-15th century, the “gargozza” of birds. where the liquids to drink were poured and with a very similar shape. The English and German derivation is skiff, which today is used on the most modern racing boats “. The four days will gravitate around the ancient village of Gallipoli, “a splendid setting – we still read – to host the event that will take place in the port and in the port, perfectly connected by the Galleria dei Due Mari, the main venue of the event, to the inside which exhibitions, food and wine tours and other activities will be set up. The cultural heritage of Gallipoli offers the opportunity to visit the underground oil mill of Palazzo Granafei a few steps from the port, an evocative place rich in history that shows where it was produced and preserved lampante oil “.

1 thought on “Navigate like the ancients: in Gallipoli the Gozzo Festival from 14 to 17 October”

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