Easter tradition in Florence – Scoppio del carro
The event ‘scoppio del carro’ on Easter Sunday in Florence, consists in a pyrotechnic tower placed on a cart, called “the brindellone”, which is pulled by two pairs of oxen. The cart then goes through the streets of the historic center and placed between the Baptistery and the Cathedral.
More or less around 11, the archbishop, from the altar of the Cathedral, lights a rocket (the dove, symbolising the Holy Spirit) with the sacred fire which, through a rope mechanism runs through the entire central nave of the church and reaches the tower outside, triggering the fuse and setting off firecrackers and fireworks.
The event origins with Pazzino de’ Pazzi, commander of the 2500 Florentine soldiers, he was the first to enter Jerusalem, to climb its walls and to plant the Christian banner at the highest point. Thanks to this valiant act, Pazzino received three splinters of siliceous stone from the Holy Sepulcher as a gift from the Commander General Goffedro IV of Bouillon.
Returning to Florence in 1101, Pazzino was received with great honors and popular jubilation. He returned the stones to the Florentine authorities who placed them in a casket and entrusted them to the prelates of the church of San Maria Sopra Porta, later called San Biagio. Thus began a tradition, already known in Jerusalem since the fourth century: the distribution to the people of the sacred fire lit in a brazier by means of the stones of the Holy Sepulcher. Tradition resumed in Florence on Easter Saturday inside the cathedral.
Florence Tuscany ( fotos © fotolia.com)
The Brindellone Florence (fotos © pixabay.com)
Duomo of Florence (fotos © fotolia.com)
In the thirteenth century the Pazzi, in order to keep alive the memory of their ancestor, built a traveling wagon, richly decorated, which on Holy Saturday every year carried the fire of the sacred stones around the city, allowing citizens who could not take part in the ceremony in the cathedral to rush to the passage to light the candles and candles that would be used, in turn, to set fire to one’s own home to be kept strictly alive for the entire duration of Easter. The religious significance of the act combined the mystical value of the fire that springs from the stone with the resurrection of Christ from the tomb.
The organisation of the event by the Pazzi was repeated every year in the following centuries, only interrupted in 1478 following the conspiracy hatched by the family against the Medici. The consuls of the Art of Calimala then replaced the Pazzi for about sixteen years, after which, thanks to the expulsion of the Medici and the advent of Savonarola, the noble Florentine family resumed organising the ancient custom directly.
The Medici returned in 1512, the Pazzi, again in the favour of the people, continued to manage the Scoppio del Carro and, in 1515, probably thanks to a suggestion of the rival family, they modified the ceremonial, in particular the mobility of the chariot, which as an itinerant he would have kept a fixed position in front of the Baptistery in order to symbolically distribute the sacred fire to all citizens wherever they were.
In the seventeenth century the Pazzi had a three-storey “triumphal chariot” built, extremely solid and imposing, more suitable for its intended use. Incredible to say, but it is the same current wagon suitably restored.
The organisation of the Scoppio del Carro was maintained by the Pazzi family until 1859, when the main branch of the family died out. From that date onwards, the Municipality of Florence is responsible for the whole event.
Fireworks „scoppio del carro“ Florence (fotos © Pecold / Shutterstock.com)
San Marco is the main tourist destination of the city of Venice, as well as the only real square in the city, since the other urban spaces are called "fields". Piazza San Marco, before becoming what it is now, was the garden of the nearby convent of San Zaccaria, and...
Venice is a city without equal, rich in history, art and culture, where you can admire breathtaking scenery. There is no tourist in the world who does not know her by reputation and does not want to spend at least one day of his life there. Venice, known as the...
A tour through history and the most important attractions to visit in the Papal States. Whether you are a believer or not, if you are in Rome you cannot miss a visit to the Vatican State, rich in some of the most valuable and priceless examples of painting,...