"Ricordi d' Italia"  an Italian Folk Group

"For Over 30 Years keeping Italian Folk Culture Alive"



The Bite of A Spider - The dance was used apparently to cure the bite of the spider. The bite of the spider was presumed to make one hallucinate. The town's folk will play music while the afflicted person would dance nonstop, to ward off the spider's venom. FACT: While painful, a tarantula bite is not fatal. However, a bite from a black widow spider, whose venom is ten times more lethal than that of the rattlesnake, can cause acute pain which seems to be alleviated by physical exercise -- thus the tarantella and an identity crisis for the spiders involved.

First recorded in the mid-14th century, the dance derives its name from the southern Italian town of Taranto. It originated as a manic response of field workers to the bite of a spider whose name is also related to Taranto -- the tarantula. Those bitten suffered severe pain, muscle spasms, vomiting and delirium; some even died. No drugs were available to counteract the venom and sweating associated with the dance gyrations may have been thought to flush it from the dancers' bodies. Indeed, they would continue for hours and even days. So common was the dancing that musicians patrolled the fields in expectation of being hired to play for the afflicted.

Dances from Southern Italy

Tarantella Siciliana - Sicilia

Tarantella Fantasia - Sicilia

Tarantella Siciliana - Sicilia

You tube video link for Tarantella Siciliana - Sicilia


Tarantella Fantasia - Sicilia

You tube link for Tarantella Fantasia - Sicilia


Ballo San Calo' - Sicilia

You tube video link for Ballo San Calo' - Sicilia