Easter holidays in Florence 2015 - Windows on Italy



The Easter period is a time of true rebirth from both a religious and profane point of view; we celebrate a new life, a resurrection that is even reflected in Spring, the season of the year where everything is renewed and reborn.

In Spring a pleasant warmth spreads, the gems are ready for hatching, the days get longer and the flowers begin to peep out on meadows and on the branches of trees. Nature awakens and with it also the curiosity, the desire to stretch the legs and see new things ... Maybe is the traditional Easter "trip out" a real natural need?

Florence, Fiorenza, Florentia... The name already evokes Spring with its perfumes and colours that every year attract millions of visitors, irretrievably wrapped into its beauty. The city of the Lily wears its most beautiful mask, and flirtatious as it is, it will use all its enchanting abilities to retain ts own guests.

Many events and entertainment will take place in Florence during the Easter holidays and there will be, of course, interesting cultural proposals in the first instance. Come to Italy during Easter holidays and choose one of our beautiful apartments in Florence

The main Florentine museums will be open both on Easter Sunday and Monday, with a few exceptions. In order to avoid sizeable queues, we always recommend to book your tickets early on the website of the Florentine Museum Foundation
Useful news! On Easter Sunday, there is a free unlimited access to many important museums including the Uffizi Gallery, so we suggest you to check which museum will join the initiative visiting the website!

Moreover, some temporary exhibitions will be set up during that period, including the following:

-“Van Gogh Alive”, a multimedia exhibition dedicated to the great Dutch genius, suitable for the whole family, that will be held in the deconsecrated church of St. Stefano al Ponte. For further information: Van Gogh Alive
- “Power and pathos during the Hellenistic period”, a superb collection of bronzes belonging to the Hellenistic period, exhibited at Palazzo Strozzi. For further information: Power and pathos during the Hellenistic period
- “Gherardo delle Notti temporary exhibition” housed by the Uffizi Gallery and dedicated to the Dutch painter Gerrit van Honthorst, precisely nicknamed “Gherardo delle Notti”.

Walking through the city is the best way to enjoy Florence, with its noble “Lungarni”, its streets and treasures hidden behind alleys and small squares. In Spring we admire the first beautiful flowerings and the beauty of the city is more vividly evident by brush strokes, the air smells good and it is worth to stop by, sitting on a bench, and contemplate how much harmony can exist between nature and human ingenuity. Florence is full of gardens in this period, including the Great Royal Park, or so-called the Boboli Gardens, but also the magnificent Bardini Garden which offers breathtaking views of the city.


The Burst of the Cart
Being on Easter holidays in Florence and missing the "Brindellone" tradition may be an unforgivable mistake. This is the main event of the city during this period and it represents an important tradition for Florentine citizens who fought very hard in the past for its restoration after a long period of absence. Such event has been regularly celebrated since 1622.

But what is this "brindellone" anyway? In Florence, the word “brindellone” means someone or something tall, slouching and very awkward, staggering dangerously as he was drunk. The Florentines, well known for their scathing humour and champions in the art of mockery, have so-nicknamed the cart that is carried in procession to the Cathedral of Florence on Easter Sunday. The famous “Brindellone” is a tower-shaped cart, set on two/three floors, equipped with firecrackers and pulled by a pair of oxen (of the local Chianina breed).

The cart represents the pagan aspect ot this feast, constantly intertwined but, at the same time, distinguished from the religious sphere that focusing, instead, on the Easter celebration. The whole feast consists of two different processions with contact elements, but physically and ideally joining together only at the end of the ceremony with a rope that connects the Cathedral to the cart above which is placed a dove-shaped rocket.

But what are we talking about? Firecrackers, rockets, doves, carts pulled by oxen ... All this owes its origins to a relic, used and brought to Florence as a reward for its courage.

According to the legend, in 1099 during the First Crusade, the noble Florentine captain Pazzino De 'Pazzi was the first person to successfully climbed the walls of Jerusalem, and first Crusaders to raise the banner of the Crusade over the city.
In recognition of his courage, he received as a gift a few flints from the Holy Sepulchre, who brought to Florence and were kept by his family until it was expelled by the Medici's. Then the relics were moved to the Church of SS Apostoli where they still be retained.

The flints are still used to light the sacred fire on Holy Saturday, which is then carried in procession to the Cathedral escorted by the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, easily recognizable by the cross of Jerusalem standing on the left shoulder of the white coat. On Sunday morning, instead, you can admire the cart carried in procession through the city, followed by the historical parade, the flag wavers and the highest authorities of the city, standing between the Cathedral and the Baptistry.

When the "Glory" has tuned up inside the Cathedral, the dove-shaped rocket burns the cart with the holy fire as sign of Joy for the resurrection of Jesus and as good omen for an abundant Spring and Summer time harvest. The “colombina” emits a wonderful play of lights, colours, smoke and outbreaks. Just for the record, the last time the "colombina" failed its mission was in 1966, the year of the terrible flood that struck the city of Florence.

One last curiosity... The Florentine word "grullo" is linked to this celebration, as the “grulli” were the farmers who kept the oxen of the cart. Their simple and sleepy aspect, made them look ridiculous when compared to the glitz and elegance characterising the audience of spectators. Therefore the “grullo” is a simpleton, modest and poorly intelligent person, as looked like those poor farmers with their oxen.

The Good Friday Procession
The Holy performance of the Passion of Christ, held every Good Friday in Grassina village on the outskirts of Florence, is another religious event, well known for its realism and attention to detail. During the night an historical parade (consisting of 500 characters in antique costume) alternates with the representation of the salient features of Jesus' life. The whole historical reenactment offers a truly impressive show which reaches its peak with the Way of the Cross to Calvary, played by a hundred of extras. For information about the procession: Cat Grassina

The Easter concert
The new Florence Opera House is a futuristic structure which relies on an invisible but primordial impulse... the sound. The attention to the sound is the leitmotiv that guided its construction and the resulting sonic excellence is good for the soul of who listens and produces in the fields of art. Here the music finds the best condition to express itself at the highest levels and on this stage the best artists in the world will be able to give you unique and unforgettable emotions.

This year, for the traditional Easter concert, the chorus of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino will perform the "Stabat Mater", a combination between the verses of Jacopone from Todi and the music of Gioacchino Rossini. For further information and ticket reservation: Opera Firenze

Walks, culture, religious festivals... and when do you have fun? Any teenager from the age of 15 will begin to repeat this question by late afternoon... Well, in this case too, we have the right answer!

Florence is a city famous for its hospitality and lively nightlife, so we would like to recommend some websites providing information about events and entertainment in Florence:
2 night
Firenze Today

But the suggestion of the suggestions is…
looking around, talking, speaking with other people, because this is the best way to find the most unique places and to have the best memories!