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Frossasco

Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Piedmont  /  Province of Turin  /  Frossasco
Frossasco is a commune (municipality) in the Province of Turin in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 30 km south west of Turin.Even if the Celts were the first to get settled in Frossasco, the layout of the town centre has a Roman stamp. Designed as a military camp, it has a square plan, walls all around it, four gates aligned on the cardinal points of the compass, two main streets (from north to south and from east to west) and a square in the centre. Later on the Longobards settled here, as can be seen by the archaeological excavation that in the Bivio area brought back to light by the old necropolis. Frossasco, estate owned by the abbey of Novalesa, was then donated in 1064 to the Santa Maria Cloister of Pinerolo owned by the Marchioness Adelaide di Susa. The hamlet was given in 1561 to the Count Provana of Leyni and, later on, from 1536 to 1539, was occupied by the French. It went back to the Savoia family but was again under the French between 1593 and 1595, until it became an Italian municipality.La Sagra degli Abba The festival started at the beginning of the 14th century. Between 1356 and 1368 there was a conflict between Giacomo d'Acaja and Amedeo VI of the Savoia family to take control of the Ivrea Signoria, doomed to result in a bloody civil war. The military force of Amedeo, was attacked by the Acaja troops thanks to the information of a spy. During the flight many were injured, many died and the castle was destroyed. Many in the village helped Amedeo's knights and soldiers giving them hospitality and catching the spy, who was then accused of sorcery and burnt at the stake. When Amedeo arrived, he gave gifts to the city of Frossasco as a thank you for the help given to his troops and asked the leaders of the city, the Abba, to remember that day giving gifts to the poor. Four of the city quarters are the Abba, one for each contrada (San Bernardino, San Donato, Madonnina and Castello). They are in charge of organising events, to be the head of games and tournaments between quarters and, at the end of the festivity, to give a prize to the winning contrada. This consist of a banner with a black lion drawn on it, “il Leone Nero”. To rediscover their traditions the ProLoco of Frossasco, a not for profit organisation, organises every year a festival, la Sagra degli Abba, which runs for 10 days from the beginning of August when the patron saint (San Donato) is celebrated. This is one of the extremely rare examples of the conservation of a name which reminds one of the old Medieval society. In a Medieval setting, the four important historical groups take the town back in time with dances and costumes. The event consists of sports competitions (volleyball, basketball, football, summer lesera and more), theme dinners, photo exhibitions, art displays, night markets, concerts and a lottery. The most picturesque moments are the Sunday parade, when horses and citizens dress up in local costume and walk along the city streets, and the Tuesday polenta e salsiccia, a theme picnic dinner in the park with corn based porridge and sausage.
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