Heading to Bolsena, Medieval Lakeside Town of Mysteries – June 12th, 2021
Lakeside medieval Bolsena is the “town of mysteries.” Bolsena’s misteri – scenes of the 4th-century martyrdom of the town’s young patron saint, Santa Cristina – are acted out with impassioned participation by the local bolsenesi in a July festival.
Bolsena’s medieval feudal castle, the 11th-century Basilica di Santa Cristina, and a 16th-century noble palazzo become backdrops for the drama – all sites we’ll explore in our Bolsena tour. Inside the imposing castle overlooking the lake, we’ll learn about bronze-age, Etruscan and Roman artifacts in the Museo now housed there.
Bolsena is linked to another “mystery”: the 13th-century Miracle of Bolsena which inspired the Feast of Corpus Domini. To celebrate the Festa di Corpus Domini, the bolsenesi of all ages unite to carpet the town with stunning floral tapestries, the Infiorate.
And we simply can’t leave Bolsena without seeing – and hearing! – the town’s singing lavandaie (washerwomen), joining in gleeful harmony as they scrub their wash at the local lavatoio (communal wash basin).