- Planet Possible
This hot pepper is surviving Italy's extreme heat wave
A chili pepper from the south of Italy is winning a heroic battle against climate change-caused heat.
Calabria, ItalyEvery year in mid-September the small, coastal Italian town of Diamante undergoes a transformation. Up to 200,000 people come over the course of five days to celebrate the famous Calabrian chili pepper—known for its harsh sting somewhere between jalapeño and cayenne—against the backdrop of impressive murals of fishermen, religious figures, and abstract art.
Bundles of dried crimson Diavolicchio, the region’s most common chili variety, dangle from balconies. Enormous scarlet chili sculptures stand erect in the town’s squares. Crowds stroll along the seaside, wearing red clothing, chili-shaped earrings, and makeshift crowns.
The festival is celebrating its 30th year, but in many ways this has been a year unlike any other. Italy faced raging, climate change-caused heat waves and scant rains, causing its