World ? Europe ? Italy ? Florence

Festival of Saint John

Jun 2009 (annual)
Telephone: +39 055 29 41 74
Link: San Giovanni Battista Society
Every year on the 24 June Florence dresses up, parades, dances, frolics, sings and celebrates in all possible ways its historical connection to the figure of Saint John.
Most famous of all the Florentine celebrations is the Calcio Storico that takes place on the 24 June. There are also boat races and celebratory masses, as well as lots and lots of costumed characters meandering through the city. Expect to be entertained!

Florence and Saint John have a long history: very early on the city took the saint to its heart as patron. Just as Christian theology considers John to be the herald of the coming Messiah and the age of the Kingdom of God, so medieval Florence considered itself to be at the threshold of a new age for humanity, a renaissance in culture and the arts as well as in other fields. The saint thus held particular symbolic meaning for the Florentines.

Make sure you check out the Scoppio del Carro as well, for more background on Saint John in Florence. This event used to take place on Saint John's Day until it was moved to the end of Easter Week several hundred years ago.
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