San Giovanni

As today is June 24th, I decided to share pictures of an event that happens every year on this date in the city of Florence. The event is the Feast of San Giovanni, the patron saint of the town, and I could attend it in 2011. In that year, I was studying Italian in Florence and I could know better the city. The place is truly amazing and it’s a true paradise for people interested in arts. Besides, traveling to Florence is also the ideal place to meet its crafts secular tradition (with workshops and shops that produce quite different objects there), its gastronomy and its unparalleled folk tradition with celebrations which residents actively participate like the Feast of San Giovanni. I’m very interested in the culture of places that I’m visiting and the celebration that happened in the city was also a great opportunity to learn more of its history and tradition. Talking a little bit about the history of this event, the festivities happen since the eleventh century to celebrate the memory of San Giovanni. In this day, lots of shows happen around the town. One of them is a parade through the streets of Florence with men wearing typical costumes and fiorentinos using symbols that refer to the history of the city. The historical procession walks through Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and Piazza Duomo with the flag of Florence escorted by knaves and the men of arms. This parade in costumes of the fifteenth century evokes the official celebrations held during the Florentine republic, testifying the glorious past of the city. This procession ends with the highlight of the festival, the Calcio Storico Fiorentino (historic Florentine soccer). It is an early version of modern football and the show is definitely the most loved by the audience attending the festivities. Right now, the place can get really crowded and there are lots of people trying to watch match of the traditional game. At night, there is also a wonderful show with fireworks and people often gather at Ponte Vecchio to watch it.

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