Published: April 11th 2012April 9th 2012
Easter Sunday! I didn’t get up as early as I would have liked so I missed part of the parade, but I saw the cart being moved so that is enough. Seeing as how it hasn’t rained for more than a couple of minutes here and I have yet to be cold during the day I wore a camisole with a thin silk flowery overlay over it, no coat. From this sentence you might be able to see where this is going.
During our walk to the Duomo we came across the parade so we stopped to talk some shots of the oxen pulling the cart that will be exploded. After the parade went passed we made our way around and staked out a spot. At this point it is a little over an hour until the main event. The spot we found was a ways back from where the cart would be placed but since it is at least two stories high we would still be able to see it. Then the clouds rolled in. The rain started and every Florentine pulled out their umbrellas and had some protection. A very nice lady shared hers with Michelle and me
White oxen pull the cart through the town every year.
so we had some cover. Then the wind began and umbrellas were of little use. It was a long hour. When it was about five until eleven, the scheduled time of the explosion of the cart the people towards the back of the crowed started yelling for everyone to close their umbrellas. They did, which was an improvement for our sightline.
At eleven the bells of the church started ringing and a mechanical dove then “soars” out of the cathedral and lit the fireworks attached to the cart! Although I didn’t notice it at the time upon review of the video we saw that the dove is sent back into the church with a bang. So the bird doesn’t die as previously suspected. The fireworks last for ten minutes, my arms ached from holding my camera up above the heads of all of those in front of me.
The tradition of Scoppio del Carro (explosion of the cart) originated after the first crusade when a native Florentine soldier entered Jerusalem and became the first man to climb the city walls. Rewarded for his bravery he received pieces of stone said to be from the Holy Sepulcher. Once home,
he claimed to have used the stones to start a holy fire, which in the 1300s was transported to the Duomo by cart. In the 16th
century, Florentines packed the cart full of fireworks and set it off using a fuse in the semblance of a dove flying from the Duomo. (this information was all taken from a news article in The Florentine, an English newspaper in Florence.)
After being drenched through Michelle and I went to The Dinner, which is an American style dinner in Florence and had a proper American breakfast, complete with maple syrup, which is difficult to find here and super expensive if you do. When we finished breakfast we headed home where I did laundry and took a long nap cozy and warm in bed.
There are more photos below