Things to See and Do in Florence Italy

The outbreak of the wagon in Florence on Easter Day

February 19, 2020
outbreak of the wagon

Folklore and tradition with Lo Scoppio del Carro (the outbreak of the wagon in Florence) on Easter Day

Every year, Florence celebrates Easter in a very special way with the traditional outbreak of the wagon and the flight of the dove. The date for this year is in Piazza Duomo at 11 a.m. on Sunday 4th April, a few steps away from our hotel in Florence historical centre. The procession of the wagon instead is at 8.15.

What is the outbreak of the wagon in Florence?

It is one of the oldest traditions of the Florentine culture dating back to the time of the Crusades.

The brindellone, a pyrotechnic tower positioned on a cart, it is pulled by a pair of oxen through the streets of the historic centre of Florence, amidst the Baptistery and the Cathedral. At the height of the religious ceremony on Easter morning, the Archbishop lit from the altar of the Cathedral a rocket shaped like a dove (the colombina) which, via a cable mechanism, it runs along the central nave of the church and reaches outside the wagon, making it burst.

The colombina (little dove) is a small rocket which looked like a white pigeon with an olive branch in its beak, after being turned on with the holy fire, it runs along a guide and triggers the fireworks places all around the brindellone (the wagon). The popular custom is that the colombina triggered inside the Duomo of Florence will accomplish the journey until the brindellone and it will come back again, to the area of the greater choir inside the church itself. If it will not go in this way, the next harvest in the fields will not give good fruit.

It is just for this reason that the ceremony not only attracts tourists from all over the world and the Florentines themselves but also the farmers of the Florentine countryside. The last time that the dove failed its “mission” was in 1966, and in November there was the historic flood.

outbreak of the wagon

Explosions and fireworks last about 20 minutes and, albeit symbolically, it is deployed to the entire focus cities blessed. The old wagon promptly wraps of clouds and bursts as if the air itself emits increasingly bright sparks, like a rain of colours: purple, pink, red, green, white and blue. The wagon profile disappears completely in this kaleidoscopic play of colours that, slowly, together with the smoke and the deafening blasts dissipates, making it visible again the marbles of the Baptistery, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Giotto’s Bell Tower.

Program of the outbreak of the wagon in Florence for Sunday, 4th April 2021 (program to confirm)

At 8:15 p.m.: the “Wagon of Fire”, accompanied by the historical procession of the Florentine Republic, it will start from the filing of Prato to reach Piazza del Duomo with the following route: via il Prato, Borgo Ognissanti, Piazza Goldoni, Via della Vigna Nuova, Via Strozzi, Piazza della Repubblica (with reunification to the Gonfalon coming from Piazza Signoria), via Roma with arrival in Piazza San Giovanni.

At 8.30 p.m.: a delegation of Bandierai degli Uffizi will depart from the palace of the Guelph Party, it will pass via Porta Rossa, Mercato Nuovo, via Vacchereccia, Piazza della Signoria.
At 8:40 p.m. Piazza Signoria: the procession of the Florentine Republic, with the Gonfalon and the Mayor, will move through via Calzaiuoli, Via degli Speziali, to reach Piazza della Repubblica – exhibition of flag bearers and musicians – then rejoining the procession coming from via il Prato.
At 9:55 p.m.: arrival in Piazza S. Giovanni of the procession with the Wagon of Fire.
At 10.00 p.m.: draw for the combination of the matches of the San Giovanni Tournament.
At 11.00 p.m.: outbreak of the wagon.

outbreak of the wagon

And at the end of the outbreak of the wagon you can enjoy the Easter lunch in the welcoming restaurant of the Hotel Brunelleschi in Florence, just a few meters away from the Duomo.

For information and reservations: – tel. 055.27370.

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