The Pugnaloni

What are the Pugnaloni?
The Pugnaloni, a wonderful mosaic of flower petals and leaves, are the main element of the folk feast of “Madonna del Fiore” which is celebrated in Acquapendente on the third Sunday of May.

These works are large panels designed (2.60 m wide and 3.60 meters high) and then completely covered with petals, leaves and other plant materials to follow every nuance of the drawing.
The technique is that of mosaic, special effects are given by the beautiful colors of nature.
The leaves of oak, bay, brown, magnolia, elm and many others are cut and glued to the panel in various ways to achieve shades and special effects.

Petals and whole flowers of all species that the long-term experience has shown to be more resistant and suitable, are glued to read to maintain freshness and color. Different techniques overlap in the execution of flowers and leaves bear true original and beautiful mosaics.
Each Pugnalone is performed by a group of youths in the country, a real contest is stimulating research in the surrounding countryside with flowers of every kind and green and dry leaves.

The origin of Pugnaloni
The origin of Pugnaloni goes back to one of the main episodes in the history of Acquapendente: liberation, back in 1166, from the yoke of the tyrannical governor of Frederick I Barbarossa.
According to tradition, the successful revolt resulted from an extraordinary event that two farmers announced to the people of Acquapendente. While working in the fields, they had seen a cherry blossom miraculously dry by now taken as a symbol of oppression of Aquesiani. It was the signal for the protection of Our Lady. The people rose up and drove the ruler destroying his castle. In memory of the long-awaited liberation of the community decreed to make a big party every year in mid-May.

The Pugnaloni today
More than eight centuries of its origin, Mezzomaggio the party in honor of the Madonna del Fiore, is celebrated every year and the theme is mentioned in ancient liberation Pugnaloni that, even with the ways and incentives of the twenty-first century, they want to represent the Freedom victory over oppression.
Pugnaloni ancestors of today are the pricks (antique farm implements) decorated with flowers that farmers used to bring in the procession following the statue of the Madonna del Fiore. The fantasy aquesiana developed them over the centuries and Pugnaloni were born.

The Feast of Pugnaloni
During the morning the Pugnaloni are placed along the downtown streets, in squares and in corners of the city, clad in their Sunday best for the occasion.
The boards remain on display until the early hours of the afternoon, after which they are placed in the Piazza del Duomo where you can see them until the beginning of the parade.
Meanwhile, the characteristic sound of the trumpets and drums announced the arrival of flag-wavers and the historical procession, the traditional show of flags that takes place in the city's main square.

The festival finds its religious character in the procession in honor of the Madonna del Fiore, preceded by the parade of Pugnaloni, which at its end, are placed in the Cathedral of the Holy Sepulcher, where they remain on display throughout the year.
Pugnaloni are the best picture for the crowded square, colorful scarves and flags from all the groups anxiously awaiting the awards ceremony.