Rites, processions, religious services that unite faith, traditions and also folklore, characterize the Easter week. Short parades with palms in the churches, during the Sunday before Easter, give start to the Holy Week rites. On Tuesday there is a procession of the painting ‘Madonna Addolorata’ (Our Lady of Sorrows) known as the ‘Madonna dei Massari’ (lit.Virgin of workmen), which on the Wednesday afternoon encounters the painting ‘Madonna del Popolo’ (lit. People’s Virgin).
On Thursday the richly decorated ‘Altars of repose’ are set up in all churches, recalling the Last Supper. But the highlight is in the fascinating and moving procession of the “Misteri”, composed of eighteen groups of 17th and18th-century statues of wood, canvas and glue, evoking episodes of the Passion of Christ. Two more statues, ‘Gesù nell’urna’ (Jesus in a glass coffin) and the ‘Addolorata’ (Lady of Sorrows) end the processiong. Entrusted to the ‘maestranze’ (ancient local guilds) whose members carry them on their shoulders, the groups take to the city streets from 2 pm on Friday until Saturday morning.