The Trombini of Lessinia

"Trombini" (also called "s-ciopi" or "pistoni") were, originally, 17th or 18th century weapons used to intimidate people or make one's way through crowds.

They are strange-looking, heavy and totally inoffensive objects which are used today to inaugurate cultural events and village "fests". These "trombini" are assembled today by expert craftsmen in the area.

The "pistoniere" (person who fires the "pistone") with a rough sack tied around his left leg so as not to get burnt, takes hold of weapon (whose mouth faces downwards) and fires. The backlash is so violent that he must rotate his body 180° and catch the weapon on his left shoulder.

The "pistionieri" belong to a folklore association, unique in it kind in Europe. They carry on this curious tradition and with their heavy weapons lend colour to cultural events in Verona and the whole Veneto. They are also called abroad to make cultural events event more memorable. With their colourful costumes, these "pistonieri" and their explosive weapons are an impressive sight. The "pistoni's" loud explosions were, and still are, used to ward off evil and negative influences.

The Pistonieri's festival takes place in May/June.


Things to do

The magazine about the Opera in Verona.

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Lake Garda: active holiday in a huge park district. Adrenaline or nature?