No I’m not talking politics, I’m talking party. Every other Saturday night in the summer, in the hills above Godzillavilla, there’s a community party that involves the best dinner deal in Italy, followed by dancing to a live band. It’s all put on by local volunteers who cook the meals, serve them, organize the music and clean up. Proceeds help fund worthwhile projects in the area.

Fuelling up for the dance marathon to come

Each night has a different gastronomic theme. My favorites are the strawberry extravaganza and testaroli night (a kind of savoury pancake). Everybody eats at communal tables and getting a seat can involve some waiting, these evenings are so popular.

Hooray for strawberry night

The thing I love most about them is the wide-spread, ageless participation. Everybody from little children to grandparents goes, including teenagers and twentysomethings, a group you’d never see boogying with Grannie in Canada. The bands are classic Italian countryside groups whose songbooks include covers of pop music as well as all the best Italian classics. Paolo Bertoli is one of the favorites and always draws a good crowd.

Boogey on down with Paolo

Dancing is an intimidating affair for us, since these people know what they’re doing. Tarantellas, foxtrots, polkas, waltzes – and a particular line-dancing number that I can almost follow after a lot of practice – are all effortless for the locals. Still, no-one laughs at our less skilled efforts. Everybody’s there to have a good time. The party rocks hard into the night and the music echoes out over the entire valley. No point in going to bed early with that volume, so you might as well dance the night away!