venerdì 25 giugno 2010
Florence, June 24: Florence celebrates the feast of its patron, San Giovanni.
THE HISTORY: FROM GOD MARTE TO SAN GOVANNI BATTISTA The choice of San Giovanni Battista as the Saint Patron of the city of Florence, comes only after the total transformation of the city to Christianity. Initially, the Patron (or Protector) of the city was the God Marte whose statue was located at the north entrance of Ponte Vecchio and remained there until 1333, when it was completely destroyed by the Arnio flooding.
Feast of the Patron of Florence: old cartIt was however in the Longobard period (6th to 7th century), that San Giovanni Battista was recognize as the Saint Patron of Florence. San Giovanni Battista was already chosen as the Saint Patron of the Longobard people. In fact, it is in this period that the San Giovanni Baptistery was reconstructed in Florence (6th-7th century) over the rubbles of what it once was the Marte Temple.
The selection of San Giovanni wasn't only first and foremost for his clear and brief pedagogy, but also for his strong and courageous personality. However, it was until June 24th in the 13th century that the first celebration dedicated to San Giovanni Battista took place.
Thanks to these celebrations the San Giovanni Baptistery and the Duomo Square became the city heart of the Religious and Political life of Florence. In fact,it is in front of the Baptistery that the festivities of June 24 end. History narrates that an ancient tradition asked to the Noble people of Florence to donate their big candles richly ornamented which had then to be burned in front of the Baptistery. Originally, the festivisty ended with a large candle that was transported in a wagon from Piazza Signoria to the front of the Baptistery. That same wagon named Carro di San Giovanni (San Giovanni's Wagon) gave birth to the Scoppio del Carro festivity (Wagon's Outburst); however, at a second stage, this festivity was devoted only to Easter ceremonies instead to the Patron.