PROCESSION OF THE “CAVALLO PARATO”
The procession takes place on the day of Corpus Domini, in June, when the bishop carries the Eucharist in procession on a white horse “parato” through the main streets of the historic center.
At the origin of the religious ceremony there is the legend according to which the king of France Louis IX, taken prisoner during a battle in Egypt in 1250 by the Saladin, left the Eucharist in pledge and left for Brindisi where Frederick II the opportunity, the money necessary for redemption. When he returned to Egypt, the king of France was freed by Saladin who, struck by so much loyalty and by the fervent faith of his enemy, returned the Eucharist. During the return journey Louis IX, seized by a storm and forced to land at Punta Cavallo (a few miles south of Brindisi), was reached by the elderly Bishop Pietro on a white horse who brought the Eucharist to the city.
PATRON FESTIVAL DEDICATED TO SAINTS TEODORO D’AMASEA AND LORENZO DA BRINDISI
The patronal feast is celebrated on the last Sunday of August and continues until the beginning of September.
Stalls of craftsmanship and gastronomy (do not miss the taste of cupeta, sweet almonds, mostaccioli, scacciapensieri) revive via Del mare, while the courses are enriched by spectacular lights.
Among the religious processions the most important is the one in the sea that sees the statues of S. Lorenzo from Brindisi and S. Teodoro d’Amasea, patrons of the city, transported on a boat that runs along the stretch of water between the Alfonsino Castle and the center’s quay. Private boats of all kinds follow the saints, crowding the inner harbor while on the docks the citizens wait for the fireworks that end the evening.
The procession recalls the miraculous arrival of the remains of S. Teodoro in Brindisi. According to the tradition in 1210 of the Venetian sailors responsible for transporting the remains of the saint from Turkey, chased by enemy ships, they were forced to leave the remains on a boat without a guide that, pushed by the current, headed into the port of the city.
This event was interpreted as a sign of the saint of wanting to land in the city and the Brindisi were glad to accept his protection.
The “Palio dell’Arca”, a competition among small fishing boats (schifarieddi), reminiscent of those that accompanied the entrance of the remains of S. Teodoro, kept inside an ark.