The Passatore society: “just give, nothing to ask”
The motto of the Society of the Passatore is “Only giving, never asking” (“sol da dé e gnit da dmandè”).
The Society of the Passatore was founded by Alteo Dolcini in 1969 with Pietro Crementi and other enthusiastic supporters of the traditions of the Romagna. The Constitution of the Society states in the first article that “The Society of the Passatore intends operating within the spirit and letter of its motto “sol da dé e gnit da dmandè” meant as the willingness to act with the sense of friendship and fraternity that draw strength from the natural source that is the character and spirit of the people born in the Romagna and their friends around the world and carrying out the initiatives that will be deemed worthy and able to bring honour to the Society and its members”.
The Society of the Passatore joined with other organizations to become the leading light for the promotion of popular activities. The common thread of the meetings was the appreciation and affirmation of the production of wine, as well as every aspect of folklore tied to the Romagna such as charitable activities, artistic and cultural in general activities, the appreciation of wine and food, sport and leisure activities.
Once again it is the Passatore, symbol of historical/literary dispute, draws the enthusiasm of thousands of members. “The people of the Romagna say that the courteous Passatore is the ideal knight, he is the protector, the patriot, he who takes from the rich to give to the poor”. The Passatore is a myth therefore, as asset of the people. It would be a crime to reject this myth. Especially today when the myth of the Courteous Passatore wants that sol da dé e gnit da dmandè (“Only giving, never asking”) , but about all wants that genuine wine is produced” (Alteo Dplcini, Mercuriale Romagnola, 1969).
The Society of the Passatore undertakes its activities thanks to the voluntary participation of hundreds of passionate contributors. It was designed as a great city, with seven districts or Cà and many neighbourhoods or Fattorerie. At the head of each Cà was an Arzdor and for every Fattoreria was a Fator who collaborated with the Arzdor in the preparation of convivial activities.
From the activities of the volunteers came many ventures: The Band of the Passatore, the Parachutist Group of the Passatore, the Automobile Club of the Passatore, the groups of dancers and sciucaren (whip performers).
During these events each member wears the caplazz, the distinctive felt hat worn in Romagna during the 18th and 19th centuries. The members of merit were made to recite the Pact that inspired the Society of the Passatore. Barely a decade after its foundation there was not a continent in the world that had not seen the rite of the caplazz performed.
Since 1973 the 100km of the Passatore has united Florence and Faenza and during the 1980s was even run in Washington. The assemblies, the great annual meetings of the Ca and the Fattorerie attract great crowds.
Thanks to the Society of the Passatore the Romagna rediscovered its traditions and Alteo Dolcini fulfilled his ambition to transform a brigand into a positive and constructive symbol that brings together the people of the Romagna all over the world with pride in their origins.