Scoppio del carro

Scoppio del carro (in English “Explosion of the Cart) is a traditional event set in the Italian city of Florence, Tuscany. The event is held on the Easter Sunday.

The origin of this event lay in the First Crusade (1096-1099). It is believed that in 1097 the Florentine called Pazzino de' Pazzi had an important role in the siege of Jerusalem. He was rewarded with three flints from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Today these flints can be seen in Chiesa degli Santi Apostoli (Church of Saint Apostoles). The Scoppio del carro got its today form in the 15th century. According to some people the whole event also represent the act of local farmers to ensure the good harvest.

Scoppio del carro includes the procession from the Porta al Prato to the Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square). Some 150 soldiers and other people dressed in medieval clothes escort the oxen hauled cart. It is decorated with flowers and other spring plants. It is more than 5 centuries old.

Scoppio del carro
Scoppio del carro

The cart is filled with various rockets and other pyrotechnic stuff. At the Piazza del Duomo there is a wire connecting the cart with the mechanical “columbina” (dove) placed inside the cathedral. During Easter mass the cardinal uses fuse inside the dove to set the cart on fire. The whole event ends with 20 minutes long spectacular fireworks display.