People in Italy do a great job dressing up in medieval costumes and having parades on special commemorative days. In addition to colorful costumes there are flags and drums. “Every May in Florence flowers are donated in memory of the Dominican friar, Fra’ Girolamo Savonarola”.
Savonarola had a complex, love-hate, nine-year relationship with Florence and her rulers, but things kind of came to a head and he was hanged, his body burned, and his ashes thrown into the Arno in 1498, along with 2 other friars accused of being heretics and speaking against the corrupt pope. (He does not look like a happy man)
“The Fiorita Commemoration takes place at the circular plaque embedded in the stones in Piazza Signoria, at the very spot in the square where this historic event took place.
Just as the townspeople had done the morning after the death of the preacher, today the citizens of Florence leave flowers for Savonarola who dominated the Florence republic from 1494 to 1498.
The ceremony is followed by a procession in period costumes leading to the Ponte Vecchio, the bridge that Savonarola’s ashes were scattered from. ” ( from The Florence Web page the photos are mine). Girolamo Savonarola (Italian: 21 September 1452 – 23 May 1498) was an Italian Dominican friar and preacher active in Renaissance Florence. He was known for his prophecies of civic glory, the destruction of secular art and culture, and his calls for Christian renewal. ( wikipedia) He also preached that the Pope in Rome ( Alexander VI ) was corrupt . This was true; Alexandra was the Borgia pope who had 3 of his children and his current mistress living with him in the Vatican. But on the other hand, Savonarola was responsible for inspiring Florentine people to burn their ancient books , jewelry and art treasures in his Bonfire of the Vanities. Unfortunately for Savonarola, the Pope had more power and people were tired of being told they were terrible sinners for enjoying life.