Monday, September 19, 2011

365 Project - Day 262 - "San Gennaro"

September 19, 2011 - "San Gennaro"

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Gennaro... the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy...

And so we find ourselves on Mulberry Street in Manhattan's Little Italy for the Feast of San Gennaro.

We started with an amazingly wonderful lunch at Lombardi's Pizza on the corner of Spring and Mott Street. REAL coal-oven Pizza Margherita... with perfect crust... fresh Mozzarella di Bufala... San Marzano tomato sauce... and fresh basil. Perfection!

After lunch we wandered up-and-down Mulberry Street for hours on end. Cannoli... Tiramisu... Gelato... Torrone...

A bit of shopping... (found myself an AS Roma Calcio Italia banner... and key chain)... before heading down to Most Precious Blood Church and the National Shrine for San Gennaro to pin our offerings to the robes on the statue.

Mass (partly in English... partly in Italian) to celebrate San Gennaro... before the Saint Statue is paraded out of the church and into the streets. A band plays as flags are presented and the Statue makes it's way down the steps - as the crowd cheers.

We followed the parade... sometimes behind the Statue... sometimes rushing ahead of it - snapping pictures and talking to the Flag and Statue Bearers along the way. Frequent stops are made so the faithful can make offerings, which are pinned to Statue's robes and ribbons. All along the band plays... and people rush to the Statue just to get a chance to touch it's base for a blessing.

The procession slowly makes it's way up the entire length of Mulberry Street... amidst the crowds... the Italian Flags... The Green, White and Red banners, ribbons and garlands... the lights... the cheers... the smiles.

The feeling in the air is electric. So many happy people in one area... it's a beautiful thing!

The celebrations go on into the night...

We make our way through the crowds... escaping them to go to one of our favorite restaurants for a quiet dinner, before catching a late train back home.

The end of an absolutely wonderful day!

Life IS Good!

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For more photos from the day, check out my "Feast of San Gennaro 2011" gallery on Flickr

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