Anne's Blog

  • Gubbio the day after

Gubbio’s Corsa dei Ceri: The Day After

Date: May 25, 2015 - categories: , , , - 1 Comment

I could never be anywhere but Gubbio on May 15th for the glorious Corsa dei Ceri – but May 16th has its own magic. The euphoria of the day before has melted into a gentle calm. Streets are nearly empty, exhausted ceraioli (“those who carry the Ceri“) home resting after their run up the mountain and then dancing and feasting in the piazzas until the early hours of the next day. A memory of the day before are the multi-colored banners – yellow for Sant’Ubaldo, cobalt blue for San Giorgio and black for Sant’Antonio – draping windows and fluttering off balconies, adding festive chromatic splashes to Gubbio’s medieval buildings.

Coloful banners drape the medieval buildings, honoring the three saints celebrated in la Corsa dei Ceri

Coloful banners drape the medieval buildings, honoring the three saints celebrated in la Corsa dei Ceri

!cid_6B86D166-95E3-4D4D-A51B-549916A2D648@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_6E85B77D-7095-4763-9AA0-A1BA08FE47AF@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_B12BF047-8BFE-4B3E-BEDC-91F830D8B5BA@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_DDB09292-2CBA-475F-AC30-80E69AAC1472@homenet_telecomitalia

IMG_1790

!cid_0B06ADFC-4A81-4EA9-8B9E-6FD5A4A9C11E@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_0B13F3D0-F7CD-448D-88D0-55447B0BD220@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_1CEC028D-1597-451A-BC39-FF0EF6E2297A@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_7FE8C5E0-D416-4478-8AC2-3F5EDCC89504@homenet_telecomitalia1

!cid_9B56BD6D-0CC8-4D5E-92AA-73D370B225E8@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_98A281EF-E302-49D1-AF6C-4850FA154F6F@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_820D2251-C585-4F40-810F-631E7823FC5A@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_C26C4B10-AD5C-445E-9A3C-3D2FAD4D43F7@homenet_telecomitalia1

Strolling the nearly-empty streets, you might see clutches of men here and there, talking about the mad race up to the Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo the night before about 7 30 pm. Who won?

Talking it over the day after

Talking it over the day after

All over town, debates on who won

All over town, debates on who won

Discussing  which Cero ran the best race

Discussing which Cero ran the best race

And in Gubbio, that means, which Cero (“candlestick” – but really a phallic symbol) stayed erect throughout the day for this is a race only in terms of speed (and all three huge Ceri – over 300 k each – arrived at the Basilica from the town in less than 10 minutes this year, too). The order is always the same: Sant’Ubaldo, then San Giorgio, then Sant’Antonio. Sant’Ubaldo will arrive first at the mountaint-top Basilica: after all, May 15th is the vigil of his feast and his body is enthroned in a glass coffin over the altar of his Basilica at the top of Mt. Ingino, backdropping Gubbio.

View of Gubbio from up near the Basilica

View of Gubbio from up near the Basilica

And the day after – as always – all the Umbrian papers carried stories on the astounding Corsa dei Ceri. At the photo studio across the street, young and old pored over the photos displayed in the windows of the May 15th race, trying to locate photos of self in the race – or a loved one carrying the Ceri – and deciding which photos to order for reproductions?

Newspapers headline the Ceri

Newspapers headline the Ceri

Looking for yourself and friends at the photo shop

Looking for yourself and friends at the photo shop

Selecting favorite Ceri photos

Selecting favorite Ceri photos

Two friends decide on photo selections

Two friends decide on photo selections

As Pino and I headed to the car from our B&B, I glanced up at the Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo on Mt. Ingino for a last look. I’d made if up to that Basilica, too, the night of May 15th – awaiting the Ceri arrival – and already spent after a good day with my tour group, then an afternoon of dancing to the music of marching brass bands in Gubbio’s piazzas with “the locals.”

Our group lived the “Ceri passione”  for a day on May 15

Our group lived the “Ceri passione” for a day on May 15

All day long, brass bands inspire the passion. See the good times and feel the passion:

All day long, brass bands inspire the passion. See the good times and feel the passion:

!cid_9CD42CCC-7A04-4030-927F-5E2273072583@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_B352DAA3-9FDA-409F-8AF0-CE7200A7EBF8@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_5568EBDA-4772-4F5F-939F-34FEACDC8A39@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_53679364-72DC-447E-AB52-90B2551CF1CB@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_A5063526-2BD9-42BF-9425-33AB96A4976A@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_9E952709-2E67-47F9-9690-915A0D216EA2@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_49FAAE48-EB25-46D8-9846-33BDBD3F7D1B@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_892D6F44-E208-4E6B-8F85-50A22CDEC810@homenet_telecomitalia

Looking back at the mountain above Gubbio, I wondered why I always pushed on for the climb up the mountain on May 15th. I simply had to be at the Basilica for the end of the race of the Ceri, sharing in the appassioned suspense of the eugubini around me.

!cid_D8AEAD45-30A0-4C6F-8CC2-919102947B1B@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_C38AA1DA-03A3-4481-AAD2-E416298FF3D5@homenet_telecomitalia

Awaiting the Ceri at the Basilica:  sant’ubaldari (yellow), sangiorgiari (royal blue) and santantoniari (black)

Awaiting the Ceri at the Basilica: sant’ubaldari (yellow), sangiorgiari (royal blue) and santantoniari (black)

Below Gubbio, the 1st c. AD Roman theater - and above, the Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo

Below Gubbio, the 1st c. AD Roman theater – and above, the Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo

…and to think the Ceri run up from the town to the mountaintop Basilica in less than 10 minutes!

…and to think the Ceri run up from the town to the mountaintop Basilica in less than 10 minutes!

I asked myself why I was doing it.
Lacking an answer, I asked eugubini trekking along with me up that steep gravel road – some with walking sticks, most short on breath – what was pushing them to the top.
For Silvia, “For St. Ubaldo, our patron saint.” Stefania put it this way: “For love, for la passione.” Her friend Francesca told me with a smile, “I truly have no idea!” Francesco makes the climb for his father who once carried the Cero of St. Ubaldo as part of the team of ubaldari.

Heading up to the Basilica, I liked hearing everyone’s reasons for following the Ceri….

Heading up to the Basilica, I liked hearing everyone’s reasons for following the Ceri….

!cid_CA72FEB1-9C7E-43C2-9E5D-99DCAC2725FD@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_C70214AC-A944-4282-A1AD-1AAB038F676C@homenet_telecomitalia

I’m a sangiorgiaro and always have been. My father was George. Dad, I must be making that climb for you.

!cid_5C927BDB-CB43-494E-93FA-7DDF66B9C00A@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_428C9237-8E18-42A7-9760-37C23741C4F4@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_ABAD141E-F450-4A14-A34F-566AEF87B1E2@homenet_telecomitalia

!cid_B69182A9-CFE7-480B-B75D-A2ADB9618FC3@homenet_telecomitalia

I'll always be a sangiorgiaro

I’ll always be a sangiorgiaro

Read all about la Corsa dei Ceri here
Read why rain never dampens Ceri passione
Read about the June 2nd celebration of the Ceri Piccoli

1 Comment

  • Marcella Pellicci DiPasquale says:

    I love your pictures…we are heading to Italy soon but it looks like our tour will not be close to Gubbio as I had hoped. I always wondered where our family names came from…my Grandfather was Baldo and my Dad was George…very interesting site. Thank you for sharing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Privacy Policy

Privacy Italian Legislative Decree n° 196/2003 Under Article 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, regulations with regard to the Protection of Personal Data, this is an informative report to all interested parties on the modality of the treatment of personal data, arising from interaction with our website www.annesitaly.com
THE PRINCIPAL FOR DATA TREATMENT During site consultation, personal data referring to identified or identifiable persons can be processed. The principal for data treatment is Anne Robichaud Pian della Pieve Assisi 06081 (PG) Italy. The data will be mainly processed at the mentioned head office by the people responsible for the website or by other people appointed for occasional maintenance operations, provided that their actions conform to of the guarantees enshrined in the Legislative Decree 196/2003.
TYPE OF DATA TREATED
Web navigation The information systems and software procedures required for the functioning of this website, acquire some personal data during their normal service, the transmission of which is implicit in the use of web communication protocols. This information is not collected with the purpose of identifying interested parties, but due to its very nature, the information could lead to user identification through processes and relations with data held by third parties. In this data category there are IP addresses or domain names belonging to computers used by users who connect to the site, addresses with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) notification of the requested resources, time of the request, used method in submitting the request to the server, dimension of the file obtained in replying, the numeric code mentioning the reply status given by the server (successful reply, error, etc?) and other parameters referred to the operation system and to the user’s information environment. This data is used with the sole purpose of obtaining anonymous statistical information on the use of the site and to check the correct functioning; immediately after processing, the data is erased.
Data voluntarily supplied by the user The voluntary optional and explicit e-mail transmission to the addresses mentioned in this site implies the subsequent acquisition of the sender’s address, necessary to reply to the queries, as well as the other eventual personal data registered in the message.
OPTIONAL PERSONAL DATA SUPPLY Except for the above mentioned navigation data, the user may be asked to supply his own personal data through queries or messages to the email addresses shown in the contact pages. Failure to provide such data may be the cause of the inability to obtain the requested information from the company.
TREATMENT MODALITY The personal data is treated in compliance with the Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and held only for the time necessary to achieve the aim for which it has been collected. Specific safety measures are taken to prevent any data loss, illicit or incorrect use and unauthorized access.
RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES The data subjects are at any time entitled to obtain confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are held, to know the contents and the origin, to check the correctness, to ask for integration, updating or change (art. 7 Decree Law 196:June 2003). In accordance with the same article, they are entitled to obtain the erasure, conversion into anonymous form or freezing of all data used in breach of the law, to object, on legitimate grounds, to the processing of data relating to him. All requests have to be transmitted to the e-mail address anne@annesitaly.com

Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)