Bolsena: Martyr Saints and Good Eating
Probably an hour after participating in the 4th-c martyrdom scene of Santa Cristina – patron saint of Bolsena and feted in late July in two days of medieval street theater – young Matteo was out of his regal red Roman sash and running trays from kitchen to tables.
A law student in Rome, during the summers, Matteo helps his family at Trattoria Da Picchietto – just steps away from the piazzetta of the martyrdom scene He was buzzing from table-to-table – red loincloth replaced with a black t-shirt – when we lunched at the trattoria following the procession throughout Bolsena to view the five Misteri di Santa Cristina.
Papa’ Emiliano serves guests, too, while Matteo’s mamma, Monica and his nonna, Anna, are cooking up that tempting goodness which draws us often to Trattoria Da Picchietto.
…..keeping it “light” as my favorite pasta dish would be following, cavatelli alla barcaiola. The cavatelli (literally, “little gouged or dug-out ones” due to the shape of this small pasta) “boatman’s style” are served with a buonissimo sauce of fresh tomato, olives, pine nuts and coregone, the tasty white fish of Lake Bolsena.
As we feasted, another Mistero di Santa Cristina personage stopped at our table: Fabio, il Diavolo (“the Devil”) who had been kicked into Hell in the final Mistero, the Glorification of Sant Cristina.
His son Francesco had portrayed the beatific cherub launching a good kick at that black-winged, horned Diavolo (his Papa’!)
With a festa lunch at Trattoria Da Picchietto, all Fabio’s family was celebrating the Misteri and their Francesco’s first appearance in the martyrdom scenes.
This may be his first year participating in the Misteri di Santa Cristina. I’m sure it won’t be his last; after all, his papa’ Fabio has interpreted personages in the Misteri for fourteen years.
He and Pino talked for a long time about the significance of I Misteri for the bolsienesi, Fabio telling Pino proudly that Il Diavolo is the most prestigious male role in all of the ten martyrdom scenes.
We had scene Fabios’s excitement just after the Misteri while celebrating with his fellow participants, all of them toasting Cristina:
Read more about I Misteri di Santa Cristina
Read more about why we love Bolsena
See Matteo here at Picchietto with his family – as a young boy
Click here to read about – and see! – a favorite Bolsena gelateria
Read more on the Misteri, the July living tableaux of Bolsena
Click here for more on another favorite Lake Bolsena spot