Easter in Florence
Florence knows how to do Easter. One of the coolest things we’ve seen so far (even cooler..err…hotter? than the gelato festival, so that’s saying something).
Florence celebrates Easter with Scoppio del Carro (or Explosions of the Cart), and the tradition dates back over 300 years.
Explosions of the Cart
At about 10am Easter morning, the procession of the cart (Brindellone) — a 9m tall (~30 feet) ornate wagon — begins. The cart is pulled by two bright-eyed white oxen and this cart-oxen combo is flanked by marching groups of costumed Florentines. The parade makes its way slowly to Piazza Duomo and stops right in front of the cathedral (Duomo). At this point, crowds are gathered, people are on balconies, on benches, at their windows…waiting and watching. A wire runs from the cart to the altar in the cathedral. Attached to this wire is a wooden dove (Colombina), which represents the Holy Spirit. During Easter Mass, the Archbishop lights the wooden dove, and it speeds along the wire to the cart to ignite the fireworks in the cart.
And then it’s about 10-15 minutes of fireworks. It is incredible.
What’s less than incredible are my pictures. Hopefully, you can get a sense of the spectacle, but at my height, you’re getting treated to lot of heads, children on shoulders, and cell phones.