The witch trial
In Cavalese the evocative re-creation of the witch trials is re-enacted every year in the first days of January. These trials originally took place in Fiemme at the dawn of the 16th century.The event takes its inspiration and validity from the original documents of the trials held in the period between 1500 and 1505.
An historical procession with 100 actors in costumes re-enacts “The Witch Trials”. The streets of the city center of Cavalese and in the Parco della Pieve are the stage to remember the painful events of that period: at the beginning of the 16th century some women were found guilty of witchery and then condemned because they would have signed a pact with the devil.
The event starts at 8.00 pm, in front of the Palace of The Magnifica Comunità di Fiemme, when the unfortunates go out into the “public square”.
After the reading of the accusations, a long and sad procession reaches the Banco de la Reson - the Bench of Justice -, where the “witches” are tied to the trees surrounding this old meeting site. The other protagonists also stop here: the Scario (judge), with the 4 Giurati (members of the jury), the Vicario (the religious representative), the Capitano (the Captain), the Notaio (the Notary), and the Saltari (the other witnesses). And the process is celebrated with sad solemnity, and ends with the awful verdict.
The event ends with a large stake, in the heart of the park. This is the symbolic fire and the Committee in charge of the organization of the Historical Re-Enactments of Cavalese invites everyone to throw in their “witches”, the modern dangers, the fears and anxiety of our century.
At the end of the event the ANA Group - the group of the local former Alpine soldiers - offers hot tea and mulled wine, to conclude in a serene way this traditional event of Val di Fiemme.
Event - Exhibition until 28 February 2016:“Witch hunting, the Witch Trials in Val di Fiemme”
The Palace of the Magnifica Comunità di Fiemme hosts a large exhibition on the topic of witchery in Val di Fiemme. These tragic events are remembered thanks to the support of texts, historical documents, graphic works and sculptures, within the same rooms where the “witches” used to be imprisoned and tortured while waiting for their trial.