We picked up a brochure in Perugia about this giant tango event in a hotel by lake Garda. 18 teaching couples were advertised, so the mind boggles on how many participants there might be, and how many dance floors to accommodate all the workshops… we are too curious to let this go by unseen.

When we arrive, a workshop is in full swing in the foyer. We find out when the Milonga starts and how much it costs and then we go off to find a parking place. This is the second time in Northern Italy that we find a camperstop where we can pay for a limited number of hours rather than a full day, and in that time, we make use of the shower, the internet, load up water and have a little rest before heading back to the Tango festival.

There are about 1000 dancers present in a huge hall, and a second venue near the bar allows a bit of wriggle room for those who are intimidated by the busy-ness of the main hall. The level of dancing is pretty high, possibly lifted by the fact that there are so many teachers on the dance floor, and the atmosphere is as friendly as it can be with a group that size. For a Tango event, it is too big for me – I see people once and then can’t find them again once the Cortina has started, cabeceo is virtually impossible. I make a nice contact with some of the women I dance with. One of them says she wants to introduce a friend to us but then she disappears not to be found again. I meet Lazzaro, the friendly teacher from Perugia and he gives me a big ‘hello’ smile but then he seems to evaporate. I think my limit of Tango dancers in one venue is reached at around 250-300 people. But anyway, it’s so nice to dance, and Frank and I have some lovely Waltzes with each other.

We leave the event around 2.30am and take Emma to a quiet spot by the Mincio river – at least we think it’s quiet – and by 3am our heads hit the pillow…

About four hours later, I am woken up by the crunching sound of a steady stream of about 50 cars, bumper to bumper, going right past us through the gravelly car park, disappearing down a little lane towards the river. What on earth is happening at 7am on a Sunday morning??? Is this a traffic redirection? a strange outdoor early morning church, or a wedding?

We try to turn over and go back to sleep but curiosity gets the better of us and we hop out of bed and onto our bikes to find out. It’s a fishing competition! Everyone has parked in their assigned spot along the river. Latecomers are being sent away, no-one can pass now, not even us cyclists – the fishing rods are already spread out across the towpath.

We return to Emma and after breakfast, we set off for Bergamo.

Posted in Uncategorizedwith 3 comments.


  • Adrian Menear says:

    Out of curiosity, Ruth, what are the sort of maximum numbers you get dancing on a busy evening at Tango Mango?

    • ruthandfrank says:

      Hi Adrian,
      For the reasons described in the article, I draw the line at 130 :-) Are you going to be with us this Summer?
      Love, Ruth

      • Adrian Menear says:

        Hi Ruth, my plans this summer are not clear, but I will try to visit the Mango this year. I’m coordinating a few things, and I need to get things pinned down now, before I become number 131, on the wrong side of the line. :-)

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