Festa di San Constanzo

Trip Start Jan 03, 2011
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Trip End Apr 30, 2011


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Friday, February 1, 2008

Tuesday was the feast of San Costanzo, the first Bishop of Perugia in the first or second century.  Legend has it that he was martyred by the Romans but it took a bit of effort.  First, he was scourged, and then plunged into boiling water, only to emerge unscathed.  The Perugini celebrate this feast on 29 January,  eating a kind of bread called "torcollo di san costanza" which appears to be fruitcake in the shape of a large donut.  

The highlight of the day is a candle light procession from the duomo, the church of San Lorenzo, through the center of the city and down the steps of San Ercolano (another patron of Perugia) and then to the Church of San Pietro .  The few blocks before San Pietro is set up as a street fair with vendors selling everything from hardware items of indeterminable purpose to clothing,  to different regional foods . The Perugini were in a festive mood.  It was giorno festivo.   Schools were closed, as were businesses, and families gathered in their Sunday best to stroll the Corso Vanucci.  And there were street vendors, stilt walkers, a brass band at one end of the street near the big fountain, but the best scene was  a street band of old timers: two drums, a jawbone-- what a rhythm section! -- accordion and sax.  What were they playing?  Give a listen: That's right:  When the saints go marchin'in.  What else?!

By the time Mike and I went across the way to find something to eat,  the only place open was the WORST pizza in town -- the dreaded harbinger of the decline of Italian culture: The Happy Pizza Shop!  Funny thing though -- the crowd was filing into the alley next door -- following the crowd we were soon to discover the meaning of it all:  the long-awaited premier of Perugia's own minimetro - a monorail type of thing that has raised great protest about the noise pollution.  (it actually is quite an engineering feat as it snakes its way through the city and up and down the hills).   Be that as it may, there were hundreds of people lining up to  ride Perugia's controversial leap into the future for free!  A great day:  St. Minimetro,

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Comments

Tom on

Happy Pizza is actually a great pizza place with great pizza. The woman who works there, Letizia, is very nice a very fine pizza maker.

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