La Festa di San Matteo in the Rain

When I stepped off the boat in Salerno the rain was gently falling and I realized I was not at all where I thought I was. Perhaps it was due to the maltempo, or bad weather, but the boat I was on from Amalfi stopped at the Molo Manfredi instead of the Porto Turistico in Salerno. The problem being that the the former was on the opposite side of Salerno from my destination, while the Porto Turistico was just around the corner. “Oh well,” I thought, “At least I know where I’m going and it’s not raining very hard.” Ever the optimist, right? Well, in this case it turns out to have been a fortunate turn of events! After walking for a few minutes I found myself amidst a crowd of umbrellas. Hundreds and hundreds of umbrellas! Everyone was heading toward the San Matteo procession, and I realized I hadn’t arrived too late at all. It was perfect! I followed the crowds of umbrellas along the palm tree lined waterfront of Salerno toward the town center. When I heard the applause and music I new the procession was near and that it was time to make a dash in from the waterfront. I found a spot where I had a good view through the umbrellas, and I stopped to watch the beautiful procession go by. Want to watch along? Pull up a chair, and follow along with me. The best part is that you don’t even have to get out the umbrella!

The procession for San Matteo includes six statues, each one carried by a group of men and followed by a marching band. The first three represent three early Christian saints – San Gaio, San Fortunato and Sant’ Ante – whose relics are now held in the Duomo of Salerno. Here are the first two to go by – San Gaio and San Fortunato:

And then Sant’ Ante:

Here is the statue of Pope Gregorio VII, who is buried in the Duomo of Salerno:

The statue of San Giuseppe (Joseph) is very popular, and is greeted with applause from the crowds of faithful lining the streets and balconies:

And finally the beautiful San Matteo (the palm trees are an interesting touch, no?):

Followed by about a zillion umbrellas! I had to close mine and dodge through the crowds to get back down to the waterfront. I read in the newspaper the next morning that the procession was almost cut short because of the bad weather, but the Archbishop decided not to change it so as not to disappoint all of the faithful who had arrived to follow the procession and see it go by. I am very happy my unexpected walk across Salerno gave me the perfect chance to see this moving procession. I hope you enjoyed virtually watching it go by with me!

This entry was posted in Holidays, Salerno, Video.

8 Comments

  1. Miss Expatria September 23, 2009 at 20:15 #

    I just got a Flip camera, and your videos are making me so ready to get out and make videos!!

  2. Scintilla @ Bell'Avventura September 24, 2009 at 11:31 #

    They had a great turnout notwithstanding the weather!

  3. KC September 24, 2009 at 11:49 #

    Great videos, they made me feel like I was there, minus the rain of course.

  4. Laura September 24, 2009 at 16:34 #

    Ciao Christine! Thanks for stopping by Ciao Amalfi. Great to see you here! I've heard fun things about the Flip cameras. I hope you'll share some of your videos on your blog!

    Ciao Scintilla! I was really impressed by the turnout on Monday. The weather was really threatening, but I think there were more people than last year!

    Ciao KC! Glad you could enjoy while warm and dry. :-)

  5. Chef Chuck September 26, 2009 at 02:04 #

    Ciao Laura, Thanks for sharing, the music sounded great.

  6. Laura September 26, 2009 at 16:25 #

    Ciao Chuck! Oh, I love the marching bands! This procession has more than any other I've seen here. Glad you enjoyed!

  7. Peter @ italyMONDO! September 26, 2009 at 18:05 #

    Looks like it was well worth the trip :-)

  8. Laura September 26, 2009 at 18:35 #

    Ciao Peter! It was definitely worth the trip … and that says a lot since it was a wild wild boat ride to get there. The SITA around a zillion curves would have been smoother! :-)

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