The Madonna della Bruna

Viewpoint_Interior side chappel Matera - Church of San Francesco - with Madonna Della Bruna

The Madonna della Bruna is the protector of Matera in Basilicata. Her feast day is the 2nd of July, when she is brought from the Church of San Francesco and presented to the people…

In northern climes, we tend to reserve our illuminations and fireworks for the winter months, when we are glad for the light and illusion of heat. In southern Europe, in contrast, winters are balmy and short – they can pass almost without notice. Summer days, however, can be oppressively hot, and many communities tend to be socially active in the evenings. In Matera, in the days leading up to the Festa della Bruna, the upper part of town is ornamentally lit at night and, as they say, ‘nobody sleeps’. There is food, wine and music, and entertainments for the children. Then, early on the morning of the 2nd, the town is awoken by a fireworks display and the events of the Madonna’s big day begin.