Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici parade, Firenze

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Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici in 1743. She was the last direct descendant of the ruling branch of the Medici family, whose will bequeathed the art collection now housed in the Uffizi to the city and stipulated that it could never be removed from Florence. Having found out this information from my lovely husband, I thought it quite fitting that there was a parade in her honour.

Max did ask me yesterday if he could take the day off school to see it, which I blew off as his attempt at skiving off. However, when I met up with mum and dad in the centre of Florence yesterday and stood amongst the beautifully bright costumes of the paraders I had a pang of guilt. Here I was enjoying the festivities, costumes and atmosphere while my kids were at school ‘learning’. I had to ask myself, wouldn’t this be a learning experience for them as well? After all it isn’t everyday you get to enjoy a Renaissance pageant re-enactment in a city that draws your eye and heart back to the days that had been. I was sorry for my abrupt answer and will actually think about the question next time before being so dismissive.

Thanks to dad’s handy work, I have these beautiful photos to share. Something that stung a little when showing Max.

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Drummers

The streets of tourists and locals alike paused in their pursuits to take in the beautiful colours and arrangement of this 40-strong parade slowly marching down the streets of Florence. It was a sight to behold and even better when you had no idea what was on the horizon, all you could here was the beat of the drums and the slow roll of the march.

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Guys with very cool guns in leather…my boys are drooling

It was my guess the participants costumes were handed down among the families for generations and showing enormous pride in the occasion. I also had the feeling that my dad would have loved to be a part of the procession too! (In fact the guy with the moustache in the photo below looks a bit like dad.)

I loved this guy with the moustache

I loved this guy with the moustache

19 thoughts on “Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici parade, Firenze

  1. What a interesting history lesson, and you got to experience it! I am sure Max will have other good learning experiences though, I mean, the whole year in Italy is kind of one, isn’t it?

  2. Brilliant! I have to thank my late and cherished music teacher Doris Keogh for introducing me to Medieval and Renaissance Italy. I first came here as part of an early music consort, performing around Tuscany. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. We dressed in period costume, like the fellas and girls in your photos, except in August, in the stifling heat. We had to cover our bodies in talc to get the heavy costumes on! But we got the chance to play in spectacular settings, with a great banquet laid on by the local municipality as payment. We also got a great reception, especially when we did our early Irish music set, much of which was improvised. Happy days! I now love taking my kids to see pageants like these. Especially if there’s a flag throwing performance. Spectacular!

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I wouldn’t have known half a globe away that there is such a beautiful parade. I understand your feelings of wishing your son were there, I was guilty of that on some occasion too. Indeed, it would be a good learning as told in a history right before his eyes. I am sure this is an annual parade, he will see “live” next year.

  4. Ah, the poor little guy. It’s hard to know when it’s “worth” missing school, but there are definitely better learning opportunities out there some days. I know a few teachers (the ones who grumble about parents taking kids out of class for family trips) will hate me for saying that, but I stand by it.

  5. It’s always hard as a parent when you realize the decision you made was not the best. I hate those feelings of guilt. It’s all a learning experience, this parenting life (I guess life in general really).
    This looks like so much fun. I love anything historical and especially love free ways to be immersed in it!

  6. Wonderful photos and yes probably should have let Max and Alex miss school to see it! It is a hard decision and we all make wrong decisions at times ( often for good reasons).

  7. A wonderful parade to experience. I love the way Europeans have held on to so many of their traditions. I’m sure the boys will get a chance to experience another festival in the near future.

  8. This looks amazing! I would love to attend a parade like this one. I’m going to Tuscany this Summer and I’m looking forward to festivals and parades just like this one.🙂

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