"La Partenze"

"La Partenze" (= departure) is a very ancient nuptial song, of great sociological importance, and documents traditional customs and very human, universal feelings connected to the establishment of a new family. Many versions exist.

Versions of "La Partenze"

It was typically sung as a slow, melancholy serenade by young men with violins and guitars (often the bridegroom's friends) before the bride's door, that they reached already singing and playing on the evening before the wedding. The song expressed the pain of changing life, of leaving the native homestead and family - especially the mother, sisters and the "comari", not so much father and brothers.

The abandonment which was required on the bride's part since traditionally the bride moved to the husband's home to be subject and obedient to his mother. After the serenade, the young men were offered refreshments and food at the bride's home. The "Partenza" rite was extensively studied by Giuseppe Profeta, a Professor of Folk traditions at the University of L'Aquila for over 20 years in the 1960s and 1970s, and appears as an essay in his seminal publication "Letteratura popolare e Letteratura dialettale" (1962).