The town of Sulmona in the Peligna Valley marks Good Friday with a procession that starts in the evening at the Baroque Church of Santissima Annunziata and ends late at night at the Church of Santissima Trinità. On Easter Sunday, a procession sets out at 11am from the medieval Church of Santa Maria della Tomba bearing the statues of the Risen Christ, Saint John and Saint Peter. Bearers carry the statues to the Church of San Filippo Neri to announce the news of the Resurrection to the mourning Madonna of Loreto. She refuses and the saints implore her to come out of the church. Eventually, the church door opens and a black-clad Madonna moves out. A flock of 12 doves is released and tradition dictates that if they fly high, it is a sign of a good harvest to come. Suddenly, the Madonna breaks into a dash as she rushes to meet her son, accompanied by the sound of firecrackers.

Location: Sulmona, L’Aquila, Abruzzo
Date: Holy Week 25 to 31 March