La Fiorita in Florence

Posted By: niccolo on May, 20 2008 in About Italy
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On the 23 of May in Palazzo Vecchio, at 10 o’clock, there will be the the Mass to commemorate the death of Father Girolamo Savonarola, which happened on the 23 of May in 1498.
After the worship in the Cappella dei Priori, the city, civic and religious authorities toghether with the city dwellers will go in procession to Piazza della Signoria, where the “Fiorita” will take place with music accompanist and waving of flags.

Girolamo Savonarola in Florence

Here flowers and twigs of palm will be strewed in the exact point on which Savonarola was hung and burned toghether with his brothers Domenico Buonvicini da Pescia and Silvestro Maruffi da FIrenze. The Historical Procession of the Florence Republic will go then on Ponte Vecchio and there, flower-petals will be simbolically thrown in the river Arno by the side of the Cellini’s bust.

Today’s Fiorita ceremony is the commemoration of a true deed. The day after the death of Savonarola, the place he was burnt in appeared full of flowers, rose-petals and twigs of palm. During the night, many people had spontaneously paid homage to the memory of the preacher. In this way they began a tradition that still today is going on.

In the site of Savonarola’s execution there was a marble nog on which the Saracino was put when the Giostra took place. In place of it, today there is a circular memorial tablet in red granite with an inscription made in bronze letters.

Savonarola’s ideas exerted a lasting influence both in Florence and in Central Italy. His violent death was considered by many an out and out martyrdom faced in defence of faith and of the catholic moral.

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