The Traditional Costumes of Minturno

Dance Groups

The “Associazione Folklorica di Minturno” was formed in 1989 with the aim of preserving and keeping alive the Minturno popular traditions, culture and musical heritage. From a young age local children are encouraged to learn about their traditional heritage. They are made familiar with the local customs, and are taught something of the local dialect. Also there are dance classes organised to suit all ages, and various troupes of dancers are put together to take part in folk festivals

Throughout the year the skilled dressmakers of Minturno busy themselves by sewing and creating the beautiful costumes that are so typical of this area.

The Traditional Costume La Pacchiana

photo by Melinda Abbott
photo by Melinda Abbott

The most famous female costume of Minturno is known locally as “la Pacchiana”.  This consists of the characteristic head-dress made of a starched and folded white linen edged in white lace. A white blouse is worn which has full puffed sleeves, made of a finely pleated material, which are gathered just above the elbow. The laced bodice is richly embroidered in gold thread, and over this a cream-coloured shawl is worn over the shoulders, once again this is decorated with gold embroidery.

The skirt is long and black. At the front a black silk apron is worn, while at the back there is the addition of a special fold of red material known as a “pagnuccia”. The costume wearer is also adorned with abundant gold jewellery and large earrings.

Historically, these ornate costumes would have only been worn on special feast days or at weddings. Often the beautiful treasured costume would be passed down in families from mother to daughter. The men’s clothing typically consists of a black jacket, a white frilled shirt with wide sleeves, knee length trousers, a wide red band tied around the hips, black shoes and bright red stockings.

Each summer an International Folklore festival is held in Minturno. Some of the local dance groups travel abroad to appear in similar international festivals.

The Costume of Minturno in Art