The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - July 5

An Italian actress taking part in a re-enactment of an infamous 17th century witch-burning incident caught fire as she was about to take the stage.

Elisa Da Costa, 36, got too close to a torch on Monday night as she was preparing to play one of the five alleged witches burned at the stake in a northern Italian village in 1647.

Her witch's dress caught fire and she set off screaming out of the village, flapping around the surrounding fields as she tried to put out the flames.

Da Costa was eventually caught by anxious villagers who smothered the fuming dress and took her to hospital.

She escaped her ordeal with second-degree burns.