Monday, August 02, 2004

Solenne Processione Perdono Assisi

It's 9.30 on a hot and sticky August night in Barga. The temperature has been up in the high 30's all day and it feels like its still climbing.

Four men are carrying a heavy wooden statue of St. Francesco along the streets on their shoulders. They are following the local priest who is struggling to keep ahead of a 20 piece band. Don Piero's voice is amplified through a loud speaker which is being carried aloft by a young man walking ten paces in front of him. All in all, a strange aural trick is taking place as this arrangement gives the impression that the young man is speaking. One wonders if he is tempted to mouth the words and join in the game?

Seems like most of the town is lined up along the narrow streets watching the men struggle with their heavy load. As is usual at most Italian religious festivals, there is a healthy buzz of background noise of people greeting each other and even one or two guesses at how far out of the town stretch the waiting line of blocked cars.

One hour after the start of the procession, all is once more back to normal until next year when once again the four strongest men will be again picked to carry their load.

“Perdono d’Assisi” - Candle light procession this evening from the Chiesa di S.Francesco down by the hospital, up past the walls of the town to Buona Vista and then back down once more to the Chiesa di S.Francesco.

More images and an MP3 file to download here


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