Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 10 March 2014

Burning the Tax Collectors

Tropea, Italy

We arrive in ancient walled city of Tropea after dark. We plan to leave for Naxos, Sicily in the morning. Our objectives are limited, walk on the beach, eat gelato, view the coast from the Chiesa dell'Isolla church on the hilltop and take pictures of ancient doorways.

We run into an unexpected bonus: an outdoor concert at 11 PM and lovely fireworks until midnight. The explosions are over the water and close to our balcony.

The cobblestone streets at dawn seem ready for a Nazi staff car to roll around the corner.

Every year on May 3, a festival called “I tre da cruci”- the three crosses, takes place in Tropea. Its name originates from the three wooden crosses which were placed in the church of the souls of purgatory after the collapse of the small, holy buildings where they were originally located. The feast relives events in the history of Tropea.

 During the festival, the expulsion of the Saracens is re-enacted, and specifically, the capture of the tax collector who was hated by everyone because he rode around the streets of the town on camel to collect taxes.

 The infidel, represented by a puppet stuffed with fireworks, is chased by the “bourgeoisie”, who in the end manage to expel him and light him on fire.

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