Following the ancient rituals regulated over the centuries.
Sulmona not only has many remains of its glorious Roman, medieval and baroque past, it still preserves traditions profoundly felt by the population. The rites of the Holy Week continue to exert a powerful influence not only in Sulmona, but in the entire region. These traditions are in fact among the most spectacular rites still practiced in Abruzzo. Their origins can be traced back to the early medieval liturgical dramas, even though the documentation dates back to the fourteenth century.
4.00 p.m.: We’ll meet in Garibaldi Square
6.00 p.m.: We'll watch the procession of the Confraternita della Santissima Trinità (Brotherhood of the Holy Trinity), in the light of street lamps carried by the Trinitari, accompanied by Chopin's Funeral March and the Miserere, to the cadence of the struscio (shuffle over) performed by the Trinitari with the sole of their shoes
9.00 a.m.: We'll visit Popoli (20 km from Sulmona), head waters of the Pescara River and birthplace of Corradino D'Ascanio, the inventor of the helicopter and the Vespa. Popoli is the Abruzzo's geographic center. It's the crossing point from the Adriatic area to the Apennines area, a crossroads used by merchants and warriors. It belonged to the Cantelmo family and then to the Montemiletti family. Both families significantly altered the appearance of the town, erecting buildings of extraordinary beauty. We'll also visit the Natural Reserve of Pescara Springs, a clear mirror of water originating from a multitude of large and small springs
4.00 p.m.: We'll visit Sulmona, the legendary birthplace of the Roman poet Ovid. Sulmona enjoyed a flourishing economy as the central hub of the Via degli Abruzzi, the ancient route that linked Naples to Florence. It was the most precious city to the Swabians, which is why it was repudiated by the Angevins. It retains traces of its rich past both in the city and throughout its territory and it's famous for its goldsmiths, for producing sugarcoated almonds and for the cultivation of red garlic.
9.00 p.m.: We’ll view the Good omen fire and Processione di Translazione of the Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows) statue from the church of Santa Maria della Tomba (The Tomb of Saint Mary) to the church of San Filippo Neri.
10.00 a.m.: Sunday morning services in Piazza Garibaldi.
11.00 a.m.: .: Religious play of La Madonna che Scappa (the flying Madonna), held by the Confraternita della Madonna di Loreto (Brotherhood of Our Lady of Loreto) and performed exclusively by men. It recalls the moment when the apostles John and Peter announced to the Virgin Mary the resurrection of her son Jesus. The "flying" of the Virgin Mary is preceded by the spectacular and mysterious release of the black mantle, a symbol of mourning, and by the evocative flight of doves. Afterwards, the procession moves through the streets of Sulmona.
5.00 p.m.: We’ll visit the Badia Morronese, a Celestinian Abbey founded in the thirteenth century by Pietro Angeleri, later pope Celestine V. To its primitive buildings architectural bodies were added, starting from the sixteenth century until the eighteenth century. After the suppression of the monastic orders in 1807, the Abbey was used successively as the Collegio dei tre Abruzzi, a Hospice, a Home for the Poor and a penitentiary. Today, after substantial restoration, it's the operating headquarters of Majella National Park and a branch office of the Historical, Artistic and Ethno-Anthropological Superintendency (Soprintendenza per i beni storici, artistici ed etnoantropologici).