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Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Week - Good Friday - Venerdì Santo


Good Friday is not a Bank Holiday here in Italy as it is very much considered a day of mourning.

 Good Friday  In the Roman Catholic Church read more about it on Wikipedia.

The Catholic Church treats Good Friday as a fast day, which in the Latin Rite of the Church is understood as having only one full meal (but smaller than a regular meal - often substituting meat with fish) and two collations (a smaller repast, two of which together do not equal one full meal). In countries where Good Friday is not a day of rest from work, the afternoon liturgical service is usually put off until a few hours after the recommended time of 3 p.m.

In Marta there will be a service this evening with a Procession through the streets to the church beforehand.

However the most moving procession we have witnessed since living here is the one in Tuscania. We rented an apartment in Tuscania when we first came out to Italy and had an excellent view overlooking the procession. A few of you may remember our photos of the event, which is an extremely emotional occasion.

I found this video of the Good Friday Tuscania Procession on You Tube, which I hope you will take a few minutes to watch to understand how seriously this event is taken. A friend who lives in Tuscania told me that for the young men of the town it is considered a great honour to be chosen to drag those very heavy chains attached to their ankles through the streets. They train for months, it is a very hilly town!


  1. What a fascinating video! Many thanks.

  2. Very interesting. I need to research the chains. Do they symbolize the chains of death that Christ broke?

  3. That is an incredibly moving video! The Sabat Mater in the background to the noise of the chains is chilling....

    It seems the processions in Italy are quite similar to those in Spain... I'm hoping my lighter work load this week will give me enough time to write a post about the Good Friday procession I saw last week in Elche. Here in Spain there are also some people who walk the processions barefoot and/or in chains and/or carrying a cross. They are people who are fulfilling a vow they made at some point (perhaps when they or a family member was ill...).

    And Good Friday is a "National Holiday" in Spain, which means the whole country gets the day off. In some parts of the country Easter Monday is also a holiday (but not in all)


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