Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter in Florence Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Two years ago, I passed my first Pasqua in Italia – specifically in Florence (Firenze). I wrote about the parades and the Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart) here on this blog. Last Easter I was also in Firenze, but I was so busy preparing for my solo exhibit here that I missed out on all the festivities.

Last spring in Florence I met Lili, one of my blog readers. She and her sister Lucrecia had a wonderful time enjoying the Florentine Easter celebration and clued me in on a little known event: the blessing of the Crusadean relic. This year, it was my goal to see another part of the Florentine holiday.

So my flatmate Amit and I met my friend Susan at the Ponte (Bridge) San Trinita and walked across the Arno River to the Piazza del Limbo and into the Chiesa del Santo Sepolcro. It is here that the flintstones awarded the Pazzi family after the Crusades are blessed and then used to light the Holy Fire.



Now, just a disclaimer: While I subscribe to no religion of my own, I am not totally insensitive to the thoughts of others. There were a lot of cameras around from the press and other Italians and maybe a few strainieri (foreigners).

In the second image, the man on the left wearing the banner of Italy’s colors around his chest (with his back to us) is the Mayor of Firenze. I remember him campaigning last time I was here.

I had a strange feeling this year. While inside the church and as the mass was wrapping up, the parade of drummers outside arrived. The rhythmic cadence seemed loud and penetrating to me, while at the same time hypnotizing. I felt transported back to World War II and wondered if this was something close to how it might have felt to be in an old stone building while bombs and shots began to be fired all around you. Well, maybe I should not allow my mind to wander in church!

After we all left the church, the relics were paraded down to Palazzo Strozzi, where they joined the parade for the special cart. I have only included the photos up to the point in which both parades came together. Although the explosion was a little bit different this year, I did not stay long. Perhaps it is because I was so tired after having gotten up early to attend a church service or maybe because I am still adjusting to a life with people (when in Texas, a large majority of my time is spent working alone), but the crowds this morning made me feel … annoyed and a bit bored.
So, if you would like to read more about the Explosion of the Cart, visit my blog entry of Easter 2008





Buona Pasqua


6 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

I, for one, think it's good to remember WW II in Italy - as my late father was there and I heard his stories first hand. I tell them to my children, too. Maybe we can skip the next fascist movement if we can rememebr the horror of that one.

Beautiful post, Kelly.

Kelly Borsheim said...

Thank you, Casey. But I PERSONALLY do not remember WWII. I am still a young'un ;-)
Firenze had a wonderful photography exhibit a couple of years back in which the images showed how the Florentines tried to protect those artworks they could not remove from the city, including many frescoes and the David.
Basically, they built brick walls over them, curving the wall over the top of the art. David was enclosed inside a patterned "bullet." A direct hit may not have been deterred, however this probably helped from side launches and certainly could not hurt. The Fiorentini were lucky, in relative terms, in that they had some advance warning that they would be bombed, and therefore time to prepare to minimize damage.

Casey Klahn said...

That's right. The city was mostly bypassed, as I understand it. The story of how the Ponte Vecchio was spared is a good one.

Cheers, Kelly. I enjoy reading your blog!

Lili said...

Kelly,
I'm so glad you found the place. Your photos are great! I will never forget last year, Easter in Florence! One more event to add to the Easter celebrations for next year...the Duomo on Saturday night before Easter Sunday. Lucre and I walked in at around 10:30 p.m. to say some prayers. The cathedral was dark, but FULL of people! They handed us a candle and soon a procession of the bishop and priests lit our candles. The Duomo illuminated only with candles while we heard readings from the Bible. Then, as we exited, the bells rang out at midnight. Manificent! LOVE, LILI

Madoner said...

AUGURI DI BUONA PASQUA!!! Ciao Maestra a presto.

suzannepaints said...

Happy Easter, Kelly. May all the blessings of the season be for you

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