LateRooms.com - Experience the Explosion of the Cart in Florence

March 05, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
LateRooms.com reports people who have booked hotels in Florence during the Easter break may find that they are lucky enough to witness the city's bizarre celebration on Easter Sunday, which falls on April 4th.

Every year, locals gather in the Piazza del Duomo to watch the ancient pagan ritual of the Explosion of the Cart or Scoppio del Carro taking place.

It consists of a dove-shaped rocket called Columbina being fired out of the Duomo which hits and sets fire to a wooden cart structure assembled in the square outside.

The spectacle is free to attend, with the initial procession starting at 10:00 (local time) and the explosion at approximately 11:00.

Starting in Via del Prato, two white oxen pull the cart to the Piazza del Duomo. Meanwhile, the holy fire is lit in the Church of SS Apostoli and carried to the Duomo.

This flame is then used to light the rocket, which is sent along a wire to ignite the cart and its cargo of fireworks.

Bells from the cathedral where mass is held ring throughout the ceremony.

Successfully performing the ritual is said to ensure a good harvest and it is now believed to symbolise good luck for the entire city.

Jessica Reading, head of marketing for LateRooms, commented: "Demand for the Explosion of the Cart is always significant and we recommend that anyone considering attending should book their hotel Firenze as early as possible."