Costume storerooms

Since the costumes of the characters of the processions cannot be entrusted to the imagination and helpfulness of the participants anymore, specifically from the late 1800s, even all the objects, clothes, armour, weapons and instruments are preserved in the rooms of the former convent. They too are now better placed and distributed in the areas assigned for dressing.

In recent years, a few pavilions installed in the courtyard behind the Church of St. John display the most conspicuous costumes, allowing whoever is interested to visit the exhibition up to a few hours before the processions.

When they draw to a close, the endless work of redelivery, cleaning, restoration, repairs, and often also of remaking, inventorying and careful archiving of all the material commences.

Regular checks are performed during the year to verify the status of preservation. Preparations start at least three months before Easter, following a complex streamlined organisation underpinned by the deep passion of the many voluntary workers who are yearly involved in every aspect and phase, from finding the suitable horses to looking for pins and needles to sew the costumes on the various actors who arrive, always intense and concentrated, at the doors of the convent with their role already well specified. Roles are often obtained by casting lots for the most demanded parts.

Instead, the main characters of Holy Thursday, Christ and the three Marys, prepare in prayer in the sacristy of the Church of St. John. Nobody is required to perform an act of faith other than helpfulness and attendance. Over the years parents of other faiths and cultures have sent their children to the processions, serenely participating in this feast of the community that, to be fully understood, should be experienced “from within,” even if it were only to meet at the end of the evening in the theatre hall behind the Church of St. Mary to dine together in that atmosphere of weary satisfaction that for many signifies genuine happiness.