September 15 - Giglio Castello
Is the Saint patron of Giglio Castello and is celebrated on the 15th of September and for 4 consecutive days and is one of the most attended events from tourists and from all the local people.
The 15th of September celebrations start with the traditional Mass and with the procession of the rerliques antique of the Saint’s arm carried along the narrow streets of the village to the Piazza Gloriosa. In the afternoon the traditional “palio dei somary” (jackass trophy) is held, an appointment which sees the 4 districts of the village of Giglio Castello: il Centro, la Cisterna, la Casamatta e la Rocca, competing for the final trophy.
For every single party day, twice a day, usually before dinner and by the end of the evening, all people unite in the main square and dance the traditional Quadriglia. Festivities continue every evening with an event, a band concert to entertain the public and the evening of the 15th of September the traditional fireworks.
A bit of history: Mamiliano, Bishop of Palermo in the V° century, escaped persecutions by escaping into a convent, in hermitage, on the isle of Montecristo. After his death it is said that his body was taken and buried on Giglio island, where there was probably a convent at Giglio Castello, exactly where the Rocca is today . During that same night people from Elba and from Genova tried to steal his body.
Due to a violent fight, the body of the Saint was dismembered and the people of Giglio kept his arm that is still venerated today . In 1600 the whole body of the Saint returned to Giglio island thanks to the Grand Duke Cosimo III de’Medici. It will be the remains of the body of the Saint who will save the Giglio population from the Turks invasion on the 18th of November 1799.