Acamìa | The Matilde di Canossa, Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV historical parade

Acamìa (which in our local Emilian dialect means “at my place“) is a documentary project I have been working to for a dear friend of mine who is in love with this area of Italy – Emilia – and he is willing to create an online place where people can understand the traditions and the beauty of this not that well known place of Italy.

The project is not yet public, but I am willing to show you some of the local events I have been documenting with my pictures in the last months. Let’s start with history…

Every year, at the beginning of September, in Ciano d’Enza, a small town located 20 km South from Reggio Emilia, the Matilde di Canossa historical parade captures the attention of hundreds of people.

Matilda of Tuscany (ItalianMatildeLatinMatildaMathilda) (1046 – 24 July 1115) was an Italian noblewoman, the principal Italian supporter of Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy. She is one of the few medieval women to be remembered for her military accomplishments. She is sometimes called la Gran Contessa (“the Great Countess”) or Matilda of Canossa after her ancestral castle of Canossa.

Both Matilda’s mother and husband died in 1076, leaving her in sole control of her great Italian patrimony as well as lands in Lorraine, while at the same time matters in the conflict between Pope Gregory VII and the German king Henry IV were at a crisis point. The Pope had excommunicated the King, causing a weakening of Henry’s German support. Henry crossed the Alps that winter, appearing early in 1077 as a barefoot penitent in the snow before the gates of Matilda’s ancestral castle of Canossa, where the Pope was staying. (Wikiepdia)

This historical parade recalls the event mentioned above and it involves many citizens of Ciano d’Enza, all dressed in medieval costumes.  The main event usually takes place in the afternoon, but all day long you can taste the local tradition and history thanks to the many activities organized by the municipality. A great day not to be missed by adults and children.

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