Pope Francis greets these funny classical characters from Italian popular culture

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11/11/2018
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There is no Wednesday in which St. Peter's Square does not have someone to attract attention. There are children dressed as popes, pilgrims who come with their llamas, others with dogs; and some, like these, dress as traditional characters of Italian popular culture. In this group there were more than 200 of them.

They are bizarre, shameless and cynical. However, despite all this they are deeply human and always know how to look on the bright side of things like this character. 

“Yesterday I made the fastest or shortest ride of my life. I got on the bus and after exactly 30 seconds the driver ordered an evacuation because the vehicle was setting on fire.”

Sandrone is a popular character from Modena. He represents the typical peasant of the region: a little rough, but intelligent and astute, although, this time a little absent-minded...

“ I am here with my wife Pulonia, who at this moment I have lost sight of; and the son who is also lost in the crowd. I would like to ask someone if they could do something to save our president. He has been kidnapped by the Swiss Guard and is in negotiations with the pope. It is said that he is playing a game of cards. I don't know how this will end, but we must get out of here and take the bus.”

He is speaking about the president of the Coordination Center for Italian Masks. His character's name is Dsèvod, from the Emilia Romagna region.

Thankfully he was not kidnapped by the Swiss Guard nor did he play cards with the pope. However, he was able to greet him.

“They said you had been kidnapped by the Swiss Guard.”

'Nooo!!! I got the pope to take a picture with us, something wonderful, exciting, something that for us is a reward. The pope has told me that we are doing something wonderful and that we must continue to do it. When I asked him, 'Holy Father, can we take a picture together, in costumes?' He said, 'Yes. Let's do it.' It was beautiful.”

Dsèvod says that for them this gesture from the pope is a reward enough because the objective of this group is to help these characters not be forgotten. 

They are part of Italian iconography, less known internationally, but a faithful reflection of the popular culture of another time.

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