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Scoppio del Carro in Florence

A centuries-old Easter tradition in piazza Duomo

The Scoppio del Carro, or Explosion of the Cart, takes place every Easter Sunday in piazza del Duomo in Florence, and its origins date to the First Crusade.

The festival is celebrated just as it’s always been: the cart, the same one used since the 18th century, is pulled by colourful oxen adorned in ribbons from Porta al Prato to cathedral’s porch. An iron cable is tied to the centre of the cart for the dove to slide down, while the procession of the clergy arrives at the Baptistery from the Church of the Santissimi Apostoli, where they begin the sacred rites. At midday, the dove is launched down the cable, leaving a trail of smoke as it flies across the nave of the cathedral. It hits the cart, loaded with firecrackers, setting off an explosion and then heading back to where it started.

Hundreds of multi-coloured wisps of smoke fill the air, alongside the sounds of whistles and bursts, while at the top of the cart, a pinwheel starts to spin that, when finished twirling, opens like the petals of a lily with a thunderous pop.

An astonishing city of art, fashion and tradition
If you are visiting Tuscany you cannot miss Florence. The Renaissance city is a treasure trove of art with an astonishing contemporary vibe. Beyond the extraordinary artistic heritage, a testimony to its centuries of civilization, the best way to enjoy Florence is to stroll along the riverside avenues at sunset, or to get lost among the city’s myriad alleyways of the bohemian Oltrarno or the ...