The annual Polenta Festival in Piobbico was literally a wash this year. Just as the festivities were getting started the clouds rolled over Monte Nerone & blew in a drenching storm that had all the Italians running for cover.
Bandina di Brutti - the Ugly Band of Piobbico
However not all was a bust - we still ate enough polenta to feed a village, danced & sang along with the local band and the best part - the Club dei Brutti (The Ugly Club) reopened its doors after a 2 year hiatus.
So what is the Ugly Club - exactly what it sounds like! And Yes - Jason & I are proud members!
When we first moved here, a jovial Italian showed up & introduced himself as "the Condelezza Rice of the ugly club" - he was the secretary of state for this famous club founded in the tiny town of Piobbico. Upon further inspection of Jason & I, he quickly pulled out membership cards & inducted us on the spot. We were then "evaluated" on our ugliness by these VIP members. Jason ranked mediocre (getting off easy I think), I happily ranked insufficient. Immediately I thought my grandpa would not only be proud, but probably would have been a founding member if he lived in Italy!
Deep in deliberation, notice the crystal chandelier hanging above - this is serious business~
At the festival, there was a long line out the door of anxious new inductees to Club dei Brutti - each new member being judged & scrutinized on their level of ugliness, by these guys:
Created in 1879, The World Association of Ugly People Club campaigns against discrimination based on looks and attempts to make society more aware of beauty within, dedicated to fighting for the recognition of ugly people, in a society that places a high value on physical beauty. The group's motto is "A person is what he is and not what he looks like."
The club's emblem is the head of a wild boar and features a reclining man smoking a pipe with the slogan: "Ugliness is a virtue, beauty is slavery."
Here is a great clip all about the history of The Ugly Club filmed at this years festivities ~
There are over 30,000 members world wide - join the club next time you are in town!