cristo

In this beautiful village Foiano della Chiana, Easter means good food, socializing, lightheartedness but first of all it means “Il Volo“.

Il Volo is an event held in the church of the Collegiata, the largest one, at the stroke of midnight on Holy Saturday. No inhabitant of the area can get lost that moment, believer or not because it is a ritual that brings together sacred and profane, traditions and rural legends along with so much fibrillation and enthusiasm.

The statue of the Risen Christ (Resurrexit) is a statue of over 600 kg of the seventeenth century in carved and painted wood that remains throughout the year in the small as wonderful church of the Santissima Trinità. On Easter night it is brought by the associates of the Compagnia della SS. Trinità along the stairs leading from the historic center to the Collegiata entrance. Meanwhile, a large bonfire with olive branches is burned in front of the entrance and the church is filled with people.

The large central door of the Collegiata closes with the arrival of the statue, the interior of the church is completely dark and the choir begins to sing the “Kyrie” accompanied by all the faithful. A moment of great tension and emotion that precedes the arrival of midnight.

When the clock hand strikes 00:00, a large club hits the majestic wooden door three times. From the inside you can hear  BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. For a moment that seems very long, the thousands of people stop in a silence full of trepidation, all turn their gaze to the entrance of the church and wait for the magic.

The door opens wide rapidly, the marching band, camped in the perilous choir stalls above the altar, begins to play an imposing march, at the top of its lungs accompany the journey that the huge statue makes running through the entire central nave. The crowd of people opens up like a fan on the contrary, creating the space that allows those little men to “fly” the Christ over the heads of the bystanders and make them bend right in front of the altar. At that point the statue almost turns on itself to be able to make the inversion and go back to the half aisle. There it stops, settles and leans on the ground. The marching band continues to play, people leave their own safe place, everyone returns to move and returns to reality after a journey into a world away from this. A blaze of hands that beat celebrate the Resurrection of Christ and go to kiss the statue wishing to receive a blessing for the year that will come but above all the people  applaud the magic, the emotion that they feel since they were children, to that joy unexplainable that fills the heart to witness the race, to those 12 “invisible” who allowed the Christ to run and begin to discuss the details: “it was great”, “too slow”, “the curve too narrow” … Often in those days it is raining and certainly not a good reason to cancel everything, indeed, greater commitment, greater danger and greater trepidation for everyone.

Time passes, many things change: shops, buildings, laws, habits, but there are events that remind you where you come from, what is your story, which are your roots and luckily Foiano protects this heritage and the Foianesi with it.

Attending the Volo is not just a folkloristic event to see, it is an emotion that if tested, will accompany you forever.