Is The Ciutadella Festival a Real Festival in Menorca?

The absurdist Italian comedy film ‘The Price of Nonna’s Inheritance’ follows the peculiar story of Anna and her family once they discover that their inheritance— and Grandma Giuliana’s life— may be in danger due to her new young, opportunistic boyfriend. Once Anna learns that her ex, Nunzio, has started dating her own mother, Giuliana, who recently came into massive wealth, she realizes nothing good can come of their union. Nevertheless, the deceptively happy couple rush into marriage, planning a wedding on the scenic Menorca Island. Consequently, Anna, her husband, Carlo, and their kids— Alessandra and Emilio— come up with outlandish schemes to remove Nunzio from the picture by whatever means necessary.

Given the film’s equipment of the Balearic islands of Menorca— where a majority of Anna and her family’s hijinks unfold— some of the area’s tourism culture effortlessly bleeds into the narrative. Thus, The Ciutadella Festival becomes a plot tool frequently referenced within the story, compelling viewers to wonder about its connections to the actual Spanish Island. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Menorca’s Ciutadella Fiestas: A Real-Life Tradition

The Ciutadella Festival referenced in ”The Price of Nonna’s Inheritance” during the characters’ vacation in Menorca actually holds a basis in the Balearic Islands’ local tradition. Within the film, Giuliana and Nunzio choose Menorca as the destination for their whirlwind wedding, opting for a memorable vacation at the Mediterranean Sea to memorialize their union. Since the couple’s wedding happens to occur during the summer, they arrive at the Island at the perfect time for the Ciutadella Festival, more commonly known as The Midsummer Fiestas of Sant Joan de Ciutadella.

Ciutadella Fiestas//Image Credit: Europa Press/YouTube

The film confines the Festivals’ relevance to a storytelling degree, with Anna employing them as a distraction for Giuliana and her bridesmaids to buy her family enough time to kill Nunzio and stage his suicide. Yet, despite the narrative’s lack of attention, Ciutadella Fiestas retains notable significance in real-life Menorcan culture. The festivities for the summer solstice Fiestas— celebrated in thirds— are held on June 23 and 24— as well as Diumenge des Be, which regularly falls on the Sunday before the central dates. All three days remain ripe with traditions and rituals, including religious processions, horse parades, and commissions representing various social statuses.

Furthermore, the evening of June 24 highlights the more recreational aspects of the festivals, bringing medieval games, horse races, and jousting events. Since the tradition of the Ciutadella Fiestas has been around as early as the 14th century, it remains an intrinsic part of Menorca that tourists are bound to find fascinating. As such, within the film’s premise, the Festival ends up providing the perfect diversion for Giuliana, allowing Anna and her family the perfect opportunity to commence with their assassination plans.

Consequently, the addition of the Midsummer Fiestas of Sant Joan de Ciutadella ends up establishing a narrative relevance within the film while also enhancing the off-beat film’s ties to reality. Thus, even though the storyline leaves the real local Festival largely unexplored, it remains an instrumental tool in grounding the narrative.

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