“… in the same village of San Giorgio and on the same day (that is November 11, the feast of San Martino), the free dispensation of the broad bean soup, also called beans of the dead, to all the inhabitants of the site.This operation is accomplished by bringing an immense “paiolo” with entering the beans boiled over a large stone […] On the same stone also mounts a man with a ladle in his hand, another is in land with the list of inhabitants, all around are crowded men, women, boys, with bowls, “pignatte”,” aramini”i, tinned and pots of all sorts, the man from the paper begins to call the name of a head of a family and according to the quantity of the members of it (adults or children that are) says the corresponding number, then the called […] advances extending its container, and the man of the ladle gives him with so many measures of beans as many need to do the number indicated for him. ” Ettore Scipione Righi (1833-1894)
Ettore Scipione Righi was an eclectic Veronese scholar animated by a great interest in the heritage of oral tradition and a passion for dialect. He collected the material by touring the province of Verona, interviewing every person who could provide information on the subject. Here then is the description of the “Festa de le Fae” that has always been regularly celebrated every year until 1924, then it became rarefied until 1973 when it regained momentum, vigor and continuity, above all thanks to the “Ass. Pro Loco”.
This local custom seems to be a pagan, pre-Christian ritual residency. It is no coincidence that the beans, which first emerge from the spring soil after the seed has been buried in the earth, were the symbol of immortality because it was believed that they guarded the souls of the dead.
The farthest documentary memory of this festival can be found in the reports of the pastoral visits of the bishop of Verona Ermolao Barbaro in 1460. So even today, every year, in “San Giorgio Ingannapoltron”, the second Sunday after the festivities of the dead, some inhabitants of the village dressed in traditional clothes hoist a large cauldron over the special stone, called “la piera de le fae” and distribute to all family heads of the village (and after also to guests) a broad bean soup prepared with the ancient recipe: after having soaked the dried beans, they are boiled on the fire for three to four hours without peeling them together with potatoes, bacon or lard or pork and water, then pour over the flour thickened with a little ‘sautéed onion and then seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil.