This Good Friday, as ever, will see the Chiavenna Faithful celebrate Easter week with an elaborate, evocative procession through candle-lined narrow streets, from S. Fedele to S. Lorenzo halting in squares before continuing past the town’s elegant, frescoed
homes, bell towers and churches.
History and religion merge within a sustained and contagious sensibility. It’s a ritual almost unchanged over centuries incorporating ancient vestments and sacred artefacts which ensure a highly-charged spiritual atmosphere. The preceding week provides an unmissable opportunity to glimpse some of the old town’s hidden treasures as the San Bartolomeo church will open its doors to visitors. But the centrepiece is undoubtedly Friday’s evening procession. A large part of the town and many from outside turn out to view the extraordinary spectacle of Christ’s Passion, many joining in with the two remaining historic brotherhoods represented alongside the solemn notes of the town band as it moves slowly from Station to Station for prayers, accompanying the statue of Christ featured in a glass reliquary, and that of Our Lady of Sorrows, adhering to every minute detail associated with a cultural tradition which goes back centuries – and ensuring that History and Faith continue to come together in a genuinely profound fashion.