Piano di Sorrento, the Madonna delle Grazie and Piazza Cota: an essential stop
Piano di Sorrento. On Sunday 3 July, after two years of compulsory detention due to the pandemic, the procession of the Madonna delle Grazie of Marina di Cassano go back to the city streets. One of the most anticipated moments was that of stop of the Marian statue in Piazza Cota, a community moment and a blessing to the city. This year, however, again due to Covid, the procession route does not include any stops. And even the one in Piazza Cota will jump, as he writes Michele Gargiulo Prior of the Archconfraternity Death and Prayer: «In accordance with the organization of the Procession of the Madonna delle Grazie, which will take place on Sunday 3 July and which for this year does not include stops, it was considered appropriate not to set up the traditional altar in Piazza Cota. This painful decision is a way to better guarantee the passage to the square and try, as far as possible, to avoid further opportunities for gathering ».
He intervenes on the subject Domenico Cinquewho has always been a lover of Carottese traditions, who writes as follows: «I read now of the sad confirmation that this year the Procession of the Navy will not stop in Piazza Cotasad because that stop, unlike the others that normally makes during the journey, has a very particular meaning as well as a practical utility.
The practical utility is to allow, especially for the little ones, to drink a sip of water and fulfill other needs before resuming the journey and with the expected heat it would be very important. But this is a secondary, albeit important, aspect.
We come now to the main aspect. Has anyone ever wondered why so many Carottesi go to Piazza Cota early in the morning to await the arrival of the Madonna delle Grazie when they could easily see the procession from their home? I believe that unconsciously we all know a truth that is often withheld. The true Patroness of Piano di Sorrento is the Madonna delle Grazie! No, it is not a fantasy, it is the historical truth. Let’s start from the beginning. As we all unfortunately know, the procession of San Michele is organized every 25 years, but it was not always the case and to confirm it it would be enough to leaf through Piano’s historical photo books. Intrigued by this circumstance, I tried to find out and in 2008 two lovers of local history, met separately, told me the same story about the birth of this cadenza in such long releases. According to them, it all originated not in the mists of time but in the early 1960s. It would seem that the diocese at the time had imposed only one “patronal” procession per parish to be added to Corpus Domini and to those of Holy Week and the clergy of the time had decided to favor the procession of the Madonna delle Grazie in Marina di Cassano instead of that of San Michele granting it the privileges of a “patronal procession”.
So the stop of the procession in Piazza Cota is not one of the many stops on the route but it is the traditionally and historically most significant moment of the entire procession. The stop in the main square of the town is the moment when the Madonna delle Grazie, as patron saint of Piano, blesses the entire territory, without that pause nothing makes sense.
Another mystery is the reason for the missed stop. Officially it is claimed that it serves to avoid gatherings. Well, the procession in which the Madonna went up to the Hills a week ago regularly made the traditional stop on the belvedere, wasn’t there the problem of gathering there? Every evening there are events at Villa Fondi, is there not a problem of gathering there too? Why are events linked to tradition always discriminated against? And then from whom did this absurd prohibition start? Whoever studies our history and our traditions better, only in this way will they be able to fully understand the meaning of those few minutes in Piazza Cota so awaited by all of us.
Who can, Mayor, Councilor for Culture, Councilor for Traditions intervene IMMEDIATELY and save those few minutes in which history is combined with faith and tradition, in which an entire people awaits to greet the Madonna delle Grazie in the symbolic square of Piano. If those few minutes are not culture and tradition, what is it really? Also prepare a simple table (in the square there is no shortage of tables these days) with flowers and an amplification and allow the traditional blessing. Thanks in advance on behalf of all the Carottesi for what you will do ».