Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palio di Porto Cesareo - the Processions

photos by Nereo ZaneRecently, Nereo Zane posted a number of photos on his blog about an unusual regata in another part of Italy. I asked him about it and here's what he told me:

"In the first half of July I found in my mailbox, an email that surprised me a lot.
The sender was the vice-president of the Festival and feast of the patron saints committee of Porto Cesareo (Lecce - Italy).
They found my email on the blog and decided to invite a champion of voga alla veneta to participate in the Festival like a special guest. I immediately thought of Bepi Suste because, among the rowers and gondoliers I'm in touch with, he is the guy who won the highest number of regattas. Bepi accepted with one condition: I would have to participate in this adventure with him.
With that said, on August 20th we arrived at Brindisi Airport welcomed like movie stars by Paolo Peluso."

Porto Cesareo is in the "heel of the boot" of Italy, facing west about sixty percent of the way down the coast of that peninsula. The event began with a procession which included a statue of Santa Cesarea, followed by a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child.

The statues were loaded on boats which took them to their respective churches, all the while followed by pretty much any boat that could make the trip.

After that, there was a regata.
more to come, I promise.

"Santa Cesarea" is carried by men in suits with red-white-and-green sashes.

The Virgin Mary with Christ-child is carried by civil servants in uniform.

The procession continues by boat.

regata champion Bepi Suste supervises the procession as it continues on the water.

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