| I sorted the pictures of my last Italy-visits of May 2006.
Here is part one, the area of Pescara and the Abruzzi.
Well, I touched down in Rome on Wednesday, the 3’rd of this May. Right in
time to meet my friend Feliciano and to be with him next morning at the
“fiesta dei serpentari” in the little village Cocullo in the Abruzzi. In
fine weather we arrived in the morning below the village.
In the little lanes the first people awaited the procession of the San
Domenico. On the first Thursday in May the statue of this holy man is
carried in a catholic procession through the village with a lot of snakes
(normaly fourlined snakes, Elaphe quatorlineata) on its head and at its
An old ritual which was brought along by Greek “immigrants” in ancient
times and is now a part of the Italian catholic rites.
Before the procession on the Market place some “snake handlers” give their
fresh caught snake to be handled by the visitors. A lot of fourlined
snakes, some aesculapian snakes, two Coluber and a grass snake. A great
event for a snake friend - and those ones, who are afaid of snakes!
Fourlined and aesculapians are kind and calm, the others not…
And if everybody is allowed to handle a snake I must do it, too! ;-)
Then, at 12:00 the procession began. I’m not religious, but the herp
relevance fascinated me a lot!
After the procession they set free all the before caught snakes. To catch
most of the wild snakes is forbidden in of Italy (each part of Italy has
its own “herp-list”) the time of the fiesta dei serpentari is a great (semi illegal)
In the afternoon we visited some interesting spots for herping. We saw wall
lizards and Italian wall lizards.
Then we drove to an artificial lake with a lot of rocks. A good
known area for fourlined snakes and aspis vipers.
Poorly no snake was out.
Next day we looked at another artificial lake. Here we saw one snake disappearing, a
black one, maybe a Coluber viridiflavus.
Poorly the snake was too quick for a photo.
A lot of lizards were in this corner of the lake.
Again this day most of the snakes were hidden.
One grass snake disappeared in this area, but a slowworm
(a legless lizard) and some other lizards we got on photos.
On the third day I had a little time to look around my hotel for herps. In
the small pine wood area between the hotel and the next street a lot of
Italian wall lizards lied in the sun. Some of them had “time for a photo”.
Then I took the bus for a trip to the town limits of Montesilvano. In an
agricultural and handcraft area I spent some hours - again with a hope for snakes.
Some frogs live there and some tamer lizards. Those animals live right beside the people and lost great parts of their fear for mankind.
One very flat and very dry grass snake I found that’s it in snakes.
But with a lot of impressions I entered in the afternoon the bus back to
Rome for another 2 ½ days of holiday and herping.
To be continued...