Italian Postcards: Traditional costumes in Scanno, Abruzzo


I was flicking through my Italian photo archives the other day and found these wonderful photos that my American friend Linda sent me. She was visiting a small mountain village of Scanno in Abruzzo last summer and came across two local women wearing traditional clothes.scanno

Scanno is one of very few places in Italy where you can snap pictures like that, as older women still wear traditional attire daily. Although, it has been simplified to a large dark skirt sitting above the waist, shoulder shawl and a headscarf tied at the back, it still echoes the old days. Back in the 1950s, when most local women were still sporting traditional outfits, some skirts were made with up to 15 metres of fabric. Locals will tell you that wool skirts sometimes weighed around 10 kilograms. Younger people in Scanno dress in brighter, more elaborate folk costumes once or twice a year for festivals or, sometimes, a wedding. The best time to spot local ladies in their traditional garb is on a Sunday before or after the morning mass at the Santa Maria della Valle church on the central piazza.scanno abruzzo

Photos by Linda Ragusa


  1. Fabulous shots, Linda! When I tried to take pictures, they told me “no.” (I snuck a few anyway, but not like these! Brava!

    • Thanks upatthevilla! Yeah, we were surprised that they both said yes, especially the second woman but as you can tell, she wasn’t too happy about it.

    • I found the old ladies in Scanno very friendly. One of them accompanied me to what she described as “her favourite bakery” when I asked where I could buy a slice of pizza for lunch. Beautiful corner of Abruzzo, beautiful people and traditions!

  2. They look so lovely! Tradition is one of the thing that never goes out of style. I found it missed in China (where I originally from), but I can tell it is highly appreciated in Italy. Mitico!

  3. Beautiful photos! In the Rome province I have seen an old man wearing traditional soft leather shoes with wrap around strings. I think they are called “ciocia” and originate from Etruscan times.

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