Scoppio del Carro – Easter in Florence with a Bang

Written by Kenneth Karl Nielsen on . Posted in Other

If you are in Tuscany around Easter Monday, you should travel to Florence to experience Scoppio del Carro, the exploding of the cart. An unforgettable Easter Party

Watch a video from Scoppio del Carro at the bottom.

Every year, Florence is celebrates Easter with an explosion of colours and fire. On Easter Monday, a gigantic cart is pulled all the way through the city centre by white oxen followed by a festive parade with soldiers, distinguished men and women along with trumpeting and drumming musicians all in medieval costumes. Standing on the Duomo Square, you can hear the musicians at a distance and because of this the wait for the cart’s arrival does not feel very long.

The dove starts the show
When the cart arrives to the Cathedral Square, it is lit by a white wooden dove. The dove is soares 140 meters along a cable from the Cathedral’s alter, and when it hits the cart, the firework explodes in an inferno of noise and fire mixed with red and purple clouds of smoke. After the explosion, the dove soares back towards the alter, and if it returns safely, the harvest is supposed to be great.

Tradition from the time of the crusades
The tradition with the exploding cart goes all the way back to the first crusade, in which a Florence soldier became the first to scale the walls of Jerusalem. As a reward for his courage, he was given to pieces of flint from Jesus’ tomb. When the soldier returned home, the pieces were used to light a holy fire that was transported to the Cathedral year after year. In the 16th century, the fire was replaced with fireworks and Scoppio del Carro became the fireworks it is today.

One big party
Scoppio del Carro is one big party and the enormous crowd of people outside the Duomo Church is celebrating as you rarely see people celebrate. Believe me! You just can’t stop. Scoppio del Carro is one of the events that leaves you totally speechless and really makes you enjoy Florence.
The fireworks are beautiful and along with the warm up in shape of the fantastic parade, the entire event is just a blast to be a part of.

— Bonus info about Scoppio del Carro —

Good advice
Be at the Cathedral Square between 8 and 8.30 AM to get the best spectator places in front (It will seem early, but standing at the best spot is worth the wait). Make sure that you stand on the opposite side of bell tower of the Cathedral. The best place is right between the Baptistery and the Cathedral
When the firework ends, the medieval dressed men, women are walking around passing out boiled chicken eggs along with olive branches and flowers to the audience. This is a good opportunity to take some nice photos of the beautifully dressed people.

No ringing
If you are in Florence during the Easter, you should notice that there is no bell-ringing from Good Friday to Easter Monday in the morning. In this way, people in Florence are mourning over Jesus’ death.

About Easter in Florence
Easter is the second most important holiday in Florence. The most important holiday is of course Christmas. In Florence, not only children receive Easter eggs. They are given to everybody regardless of age.

Santi Apostoli
The soldier’s old pieces of flint, from Jerusalem, that were and is still used for Scoppio del Carro are normally kept in the small old Santi Apostoli Church. Parallel to the Scoppio del Carro, a fire is ignited with the old pieces of flint at the church. The fire is carried to the Cathedral Square and is used to ignite the dove.

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Kenneth Karl Nielsen

I am one of the founders of Backpacker Planet - I left on my first backpacking trip in 1994 and have kept backpacking around the world ever since.

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