This weekend I attended an evening with the promoters of the UNESCO project held inside the Museum of Viterbo's cathedral or Duomo.
Walking through San Pellegrino quarter I noticed the Christmas lights were already ablaze, adding a lovely blue hue to the ancient peperino stone walls and buildings.
Roman candles lit the entrance of the Museum of the Duomo creating a romantic aura. As I walked to the conference room my iPad camera caught a few special objects along the way.
|entering the Museo del Colle del Duomo|
|a capital from medieval column , Museo del Duomo|
|Diana of Ephesus statue in the Museo del Duomo|
|Santa Rosa, Museo del Duomo, Viterbo|
Poems were read, the Bishop spoke and those present wished the committee safe travels to Baku in Azherbijan where, on December 5th , the decision of the commission will be made during the UNESCO sites annual meeting.
In the past 5 years Italian nominees accepted include lute making in Cremona, Sardinian pastoral songs and the Mediterranean diet.
|Porters of S. Rosa (photo F. Pignatale)|
Few outside of Viterbo know that back in 2010 the city joined forces with the towns of Nola, Sassari and Palmi (Gubbio declined, wanting to do it on their own ) to enter the competition hoping to have their shoulder borne processional structures declared as objects of intangible heritage by UNESCO.
Partnering with Viterbo’s Macchina di Santa Rosa in the competition are:
-The "Gigli di Nola" a procession of eight obelisks made of wood and papier mâché in honor of Sant Paolino, representing the boat which brought the Saint to land.
|the Macchina turns a corner (photo F. Pignatale)|
-The "Varia di Palmi", a complex processional structure carried in honor of Our Lady of the Holy Letter.
-The "Candelieri" in Sassari, Sardinia, wooden obelisks which make a choreographic performance dedicated to the Virgin.
Each celebration promotes intense cultural activity that allows citizens to get in touch with all the nuances of the intangible heritage. Children also are involved in the transmission activities and in the case of Viterbo’s mini macchine, carry smaller processional structures on their shoulders.
On the contrary, the well known Venice Carnival and Palio di Siena both failed to meet the UNESCO’s strict guidelines.
Stay tuned for the verdict to be given on December 5th.