''Cerretano, the man who traffics
on the squares in balsams or other medicines, takes out teeth and does sleights
of hand, . from Cerreto, village in Umbria from where usually came suchlike persons who used to make money with
So is defined the term ''cerretano'' (inhabitants of Cerreto) in the ancient
dictionary of the Accademia della Crusca
(Florentine literary academy).
According to the tradition the term developed to ''ciarlatano
what is quack in English, and what calls a person who practices as a healer or
who similarly takes advantage of the good faith of the people, all with the aim
to gain money or other advantages with false pretensions.
As a matter of fact this tradition isn't nor so unrealistic as one could think,
neither too defamatory, in case one would investigate thoroughly the reasons.
Indeed, the medicinal use of herbs and balsams is due to the profound knowledge
regarding the curative properties of the herbs of the many monks and hermits in
this zone in the past centuries.
In August Cerreto di Spoleto
organizes an event, the Feast of the quack
, to bring back to memory a
piece of history and folklore connected with the territory. During the ceremony
take place theatre performances and exhibitions with the documents and
evidences that help to understand who and what were the ''cerretani''.
Moreover it is an opportunity to taste the typical dishes of the local
gastronomy, the local handicrafts as well as the precious truffle
real speciality of the territory.
Text and images contained on this page and related linked pages are protected by copyright laws, unauthorized copying is strictly prohibited.