At the table of Princess Constance
Teggiano's most anticipated celebration
Ah, weddings-they are always good parties! Then if two influential people get married, then more than a celebration they become an event, and sometimes the entire population of the village gets involved. That's what happened in Diano a few centuries ago, and has been repeated every August in Teggiano since 1994, when everyone-citizens and visitors alike-is invited to Princess Costanza's Table.
Costanza and Antonello
Costanza da Montefeltro was the daughter of Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino. In 1481 she married Antonello Sanseverino, prince of Salerno. Among the territories under the Sanseverino's power was also ancient Diano, today Teggiano. So it was that a year after the wedding, the couple visited the village, where they were welcomed by the people with great joy.
Today this event has become the occasion and subject of a highly prized medieval reenactment, much loved by the population, but also by many curious people who come from all over the region to witness it. In mid-August, for three days, Teggiano ceases to exist, becoming Diano again. Its streets fill with artisan workshops that showcase ancient crafts, acrobats, drummers and many extras dressed in the fashion of the 15th century. But the protagonists of the story cannot be missed, and indeed here they are: Constance and Antonello make their triumphal entrance in procession. They are accompanied by their court, town council and armigers, and they proceed proudly and happily from Macchiaroli Castle to the center of the town, there where the cardo and decumanus met in Roman times. At this point a second reenactment comes to life, that of the town council that gave a positive opinion on the princely wedding.
Besides the stalls and street performers, there are other popular elements that contribute to the perfect medieval atmosphere. The first is the inns, which for the occasion dress up in old cloths and serve traditional delicacies, and the other is the coins. Yes, when you come to Teggiano on the occasion of Princess Constance's Table, you can exchange your current money for Coronati, Ducati, Tari and Tornesi, the ancient local coins that, if only for a few days, find new life.
The siege of the castle
More than for his marriage, Antonello Sanseverino went down in history for the Conspiracy of the Barons that was organized within the very walls of the castle of Teggiano to rebel against Frederick of Aragon, King of Naples. But the conspiracy failed, and the king's reprisal was not long in coming: in 1497, little more than ten years after the triumphal entry of Constance and Antonello into the village, it was the turn of the troops from Naples, who stormed the castle. Antonello held out for more than two months, but eventually fell under the onslaught of the enemy army. It is precisely this terrible moment that is re-enacted one night at midnight during the three-day festival At Princess Constance's Table, with a fireworks display and an actual assault on the castle. Much better than a history book, isn't it?
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