by: Patrick T Tobin, Marist Italy FFE, 2013-14
SHAZAM! BAM! BOOM! These are just some noises, along with countless cheers of excitement, that you could hear this joyful Easter Sunday if you go to Piazza del Duomo and attend the Florentine traditional Explosion of the Cart. Yes, I said explosion. To be held in Piazza del Duomo. I’m still trying to understand who thought that causing a cart to explode in the middle of a very public and iconic place was a good idea, even though it sounds really entertaining. Nonetheless, it is a must if you’ve been in Florence for as long as I have – or even if you’re just here for the weekend! If this celebration is like any of the other Florentine celebrations that I’ve experienced in my year abroad, it’ll make this Easter unlike any other.
This unique tradition started when one of the Pazzi family members returned to Florence after fighting in the Crusades. He showed his bravery in battle and in order to thank him for his courageous acts, he was given three flints from the Holy Sepulcher. During the ceremony this Easter Sunday, the priest will rub the ancient flints together and light the Easter candle. Then, from inside the Duomo the Archbishop will light a rocket shaped like a dove, which flies down on a wire to hit the cart and then… BAM! The cart will explode in a show of fireworks causing the masses to cry out with glee.
The ceremony starts at 10am every Easter Sunday, but the explosion of the cart doesn’t happen until around 11am. Make sure to get there early in order to try and get the best spot possible! This Sunday, April 20th, is supposed to be in the low 70s with a 40% chance of rain so prepare accordingly. It’s said that the ceremony will bring good harvest and luck to the city and it’s people, so in order to gain some luck and have a truly unforgettable Florentine Easter, definitely check out the Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart).
Here is a little teaser of what to expect this Easter Sunday: Explosion of the cart in Florence