Monday, October 19, 2015

Surprises on the Streets of Florence

You never know what you'll see on the streets of Florence! As we were coming back to our apartment one day, we encountered this procession of people in medieval garb.

At first, we didn't know what all this pageantry was about, although the costumes were beautiful . . .

And these children were particularly sweet . . .

Then we saw it--the cart of wine being drawn by two stunning white oxen--and I realized it was the blessing of the wine. The celebration of the harvest and the Chianti was underway. 

A tourist gets into the act.

Behind the traditional wine cart was this tractor and trailer. The men on the trailer were selling wine, but I didn't act fast enough, so I wasn't able to buy any. Darn!

Thanks go to Kevin for this photo.

The parade continued around the piazza to the front of the Duomo, where a priest waited to bless the wine.

Then the entire procession moved down the street toward the Piazza della Signoria, where the city fathers would be presented with sample bottles of the new chianti. I'm told this ceremony goes back more than 500 years.

The next day marked a newer tradition. I looked out the window and saw people gathering for a race. Then, I remembered that a charity race for fighting cancer was taking place that day.  Kevin immediately ran down to the piazza, and he was able to take part in the 5k run/walk. I thought I had captured him in the crowd below, but no, it was the 10k that started outside our window. Sadly, the race organizers were all out of t-shirts, so Kevin didn't get a souvenir. But he does have the memory of taking part in an international event for a good cause. That's not a bad way to spend a morning.

Crowd shots taken from our window. Alas, Kevin isn't in there!

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