The Christmas Season comes to a close with the celebration of Epiphany, the 12th night of Christmas. The scriptural account of the visit of the Magi from the East is brought to life with the Cavalcade, a parade that goes back to 1417 and ended in 1494 when the Medici family was expelled from Florence. It was revived in 1997 during the celebration of the Seventh Centennial of the cathedral.

The three Wise Men arrive with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, with the cavalcade of over 500 participants from all over Tuscany behind them joining in the celebration. A live Nativity is set up in Piazza del Duomo complete with the baby Jesus, his mother Mary, her husband Joseph, and farm animals, and shepherds.

The parade begins at the Palazzo Pitti on the southern bank of the Arno, makes its way through the Ponte Vecchio to the Piazza della Signoria, and on to the Piazza del Duomo, where the live Nativity awaits the three kings.

These pics I took at the Piazza della Signoria.

I took some other pictures off the net. So much more happens at the beginning and at the end than happened at the Piazza della Signoria. The most I saw was flag tossing and drumming.

I must have been delirious. I’ve been fighting a cold since we got back, so I forgot the last few photos from Florence. Diane, Erin, and I walked back from the Piazza della Signoria to the Ponte Vecchio just to get a look of the gold and jewelry shops. I was fascinated at their response–like taking a child to a candy shop. And when I pointed out those chocolate shops on our way back, they dismissed my pleas as I had dismissed their “oohs” and “aahs” at the Ponte Vecchio. Ironic.

Rolo B Castillo © 2014