The Feats of Pugnaloni
The Feast of Pugnaloni is a festival peculiar to Acquapendente, and is celebrated on the third Sunday of May. It is one of the oldest folkloristic celebrations of the Tuscia, called Mid-May Feast, in honour of Our Lady of the Flower.
But now let’s find out what exactly the Pugnaloni mean for Acquapendente.
The Pugnaloni are large mosaic-like paintings made of flower petals and leaves arranged on wooden panels. The leaves are cut and then glued on the panel that bears the underlying drawing, so as to colour the background of the artwork; upon them are then applied the flowers, which are arranged the night before the parade.
The execution of these authentic masterpieces is entrusted to different historical groups, which every year gather to compete and win the prize for the best artwork. The preparation of this event, eagerly awaited by everyone all over the town of Acquapendente, begins more than a month before; in the workshops, the artists prepare their sketches and then begin to realise the final works.
On the morning of the festival, on the third Sunday of May therefore, the Pugnaloni are exhibited in fixed places in the town streets, where a jury of experts examines them one by one to evaluate their respective artistic value, quality of execution and originality.
In the afternoon, the works are brought to the Piazza del Duomo; the Historical Parade and the Flag Throwers parade through the streets of the historic centre, and the feats continues with the procession of Our Lady of the Flower, followed by all the Pugnaloni made for this occasion.
In the evening, after a long day of celebration, the winner is publicly proclaimed in the Piazza Girolamo Fabrizio, with a ranking that sees the works in the first six positions as protagonists.
The Pugnaloni can be admired even beyond the day of the festival, as they are on display between the aisles of the Cathedral until the beginning of spring, when each team goes and collects its work to destroy it and create a new one.
© Comune di Acquapendente (VT)
Piazza Girolamo Fabrizio, 17 – CAP 01021
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