After a very convivial get-together at La Rondine Gallery at Ponte a Seraglio, organised by Jaqueline last night, where we realised that this year’s Festa degli Artisti would be even bigger and better than last year’s premiere, and then a pizza at la Lira (still the best place for a pizza in Bagni di Lucca) we drove off for Ghivizzano Castello for the Veglia Pasquale (Easter wake) to sing for our choir.
The church high on the hill was submerged in darkness and then, gradually from its main entrance, a procession of candles entered, headed by the large Paschal candle gradually lighting up the great vaults with then a sudden blaze of (electric) lights gloriously illuminating the beautiful old church of San Pietro e Paolo di Ghivizzano Castello to signify the resurrection of Christ.
We sang our pieces well in the generous acoustics and then at midnight all the streets of the town and the valley itself resounded to the sound of bells rung by I campanari (bellringers) which is an ancient and dying art. No easy tugging of ropes from the safety of a lower floor here! The campanari wrestled with the bells from their actual loft, ringing in the changes with the three large bells of a new season of love and redemption at the resurrection of Our Lord.
Either the campanari must be deaf, Quasimodo-style, or else wear ear muffs but the sound they made was glorious.
As we were involved with all the ceremony I didn’t take a single picture of the evening’s events but here is a clip of campanari doing their job well and taken at Barga. My thanks to Barga news for allowing this clip:
Buona Pasqua – Happy Easter – to all my readers on this gloriously clear and fresh morning!