The week of April 27 is held in Lucca, at the basilica of San Frediano and the anfiteatro, a floral event in honor of Santa Zita, aimed at recalling the miracle of the bread transformed into flowers.
Her body, preserved in the Basilica of San Frediano, is exhibited during the feast day for offers and votes.
A big party in the city for the celebration of the anniversary of the death of the saint of flowers, symbol of virtuous Lucca, died April 27, 1272 and cited by Dante Alighieri in the Divina Commedia which, referring to a magistrate of Lucca, speaks of anzian di Santa Zita, thus identifying Lucca with the saint remembered in the Divine Comedy.
The event includes the flower market in Piazza Anfiteatro and, during the days of the festival, the setting up of small gardens in the neighboring squares.
Via Fillungo, Piazza Scalpellini and Piazza San Frediano are colored and the atmosphere is full of the intense scent of flowers, sweets and local food and wine products.
In addition, in Piazza S. Frediano and Piazza Scalpellini, the floral arrangement is carried out by Opera delle Mura and the gardeners of the Botanical Garden.
Santa Zita is the patroness of housewives and maids, a maid herself in the rich Fatinelli family.
Tradition tells the legend that, perhaps because it was envious of the affection received by Zita, another Fatinelli maid would have begun to insinuate into the mind of the head of the family the suspicion that Zita stole what she gave to the poor at home; one day the master, meeting Zita with his swollen apron on his way to a needy family, would ask her what she was carrying; although this was full of bread, Zita would have replied that she wore only flowers and fronds and, having loosened her apron, flowers and fronds would have fallen.
The same tradition has it that these days we offer bunches of daffodils and classic sweet herbs.