October 4th is a very important day in Bologna, it marks the festa di San Petronio, the patron saint of Bologna. This was our second year celebrating the event and while we didn't go all out this year, we definitely enjoyed the festivities.
The Basilica di San Petronio is the major church in Bologna and sits smack in the heart of the city in Piazza Maggiore. And while I'm on a fact giving trip, I'll fill you in on the odd looking but beautiful church. Like many magnificent churches in Italy, it took the Bolognese centuries to build, and the goal was to make the church better than Santa Peter's Basilica in Rome. And they probably would have succeed however, when the Pope caught wind of what was going on in Bologna, he immediately put a stop to it (no money= no construction) which is why it's two different styles. The festival celebrates Saint Petronius who was the bishop of Bologna during the fifth century. This year also included flag throwing, which I had yet to see in Bologna.
After Mass, everyone lines up for a procession around the piazza. We were fortunate to have the same viewing spot as last year. Unfortunately we forgot the flip at home, but the procession is quite moving, and the only time I think it's truly silent in the piazza.