On the Cover: The Processione dei Misteri di Trapani

The Processione dei Misteri di Trapani or simply the Misteri di Trapani (the Procession of the Mysteries of Trapani or the Mysteries of Trapani) is a day-long passion procession featuring 20 floats of lifelike wood, canvas and glue sculptures of individual scenes of the events of the Passion. One of the most ancient religious festivals in Sicily and in Italy, the Misteri procession in Trapani is an extraordinary piece of evidence of the religious vocation of the island.

The Misteri di Trapani is the longest procession in the country, running for about 24 hours, and one of the most sensational spiritual events as well as one of the oldest continuously running religious events in all of Europe. The Misteri‚Äôs history dates back to before the Easter of 1612 and has played every Good Friday since then. 

In the late middle ages and early Renaissance, the manifestation of Holy Week spread widely all over Europe. Passion Plays, dramatic performances representing Christ's Passion from the Last Supper to the Crucifixion, were particularly appreciated. Eventually, beginning in the Spanish Empire, the plays were substituted by processions of figurative art in the form of finely crafted sculptural groups depicting the various episodes of the Passion of Christ. 

Trapani, Sicily called its sculptural groups Misteri, referring to the mystery of


online + newspaper

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe or login if you are already a subscriber.