The Rites and the Procession of “Varette” during the Good Friday
If you’re in Sicily for Easter, you will find some interesting Italian Easter celebrations, rituals and traditions. For example; every family has a big extensive lunch, whereby all kinds of dishes like home made lasagna (al ragu), rollè di tacchino, pastiera napoletana, Easter eggs… are prepared. The monday following Easter, Pasquetta is also a holiday throughout Italy, while the days before Easter in Italy include solemn processions and Masses. Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, located in the northern Tyrrhenian coast of Sicily, has its own procession as well, which takes place on the Good Friday.
On the 1st June 1836 the King Ferdinand II of Bourbon decided that the new municipality, formed by the fusion of two municipalities would have led to the current name Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto.
So, Barcelona and Pozzo di Gotto has two “Arcipreture” and offers on the occasion of the Good Friday, two separate processions, each consisting of thirteen Varette decorated with flowers, traditionally distinct, reproducing the Mystery of the Cross.
The procession of Pozzo di Gotto with the oldest Varette dating back to 1800 starts from Santa Maria Assunta Church (Procession A in the map), and the other of Barcellona (Procession B in the map), where the procession starts from San Giovanni Church, dating back to the early ‘900.
Map A (Procession of Pozzo di Gotto)
Map B (Procession of Barcellona)
They unfold in a wealth of flowers and lights, followed by groups of men singing the Vexilla, an ancient pattern, built on the lines of the Latin poet Venantius Fortunatus (530-601) Vexilla Regis. Each Varetta represents a single event, symbolizing the place and the scenario of the episode occurred followed by the pilgrimage.
It has a solemn moment when the two processions meet on the bridge Longano of Barcellona P.G. according to the ancient tradition.
17.30 Procession of Varette of Barcellona and Pozzo di Gotto, and meeting late in the evening on the Longano bridge.
There isn’t a definitive programme of the day. The Procession will start at around six o’clock p.m. from two different point of the city (via Giuseppe Garibaldi and San Giovanni) and after having followed their itinerary they will meet on the Longano Bridge. It will finish at around 21:30 on the Longano bridge.
We strongly suggest that you take part in the Procession as it’s a cultural tradition handed down for years in Barcellona P.G.