The story of this saint is pretty cool to me. It’s lacks a lot of detail and if I’m getting something wrong then I hope Marco Ruuu will correct me. San Teodoro was a Roman soldier on a ship that sailed from Brindisi as part of the Crusades around 1210. He died in a battle in Aukat, Turkey. As the ship returned with his remains the sailors realized the Turks were chasing them and they would not escape. They decided to put his remains in small dingy and sent him adrift as they turned the ship to fight the Turks chasing them. The story says that the dingy miraculously made its way back to the harbor of Brindisi unaided.
So to mark this event, every year Brindisi has a boat parade led by a boat with the effigy of San Teodoro riding a white stallion (and a statue of San Lorenzo, the other patron saint of the town is on the boat too for some odd reason). The lead boat brings the statues into the harbor again as a reenactment of the original miraculous return in 1210. There are speeches made by important local politicians and religious folks. Then they set off the best fireworks show of the year from the Sailors Monument on the other side of the harbor. The waterfront and the steps up to the columns that mark the end of the Via Appia are PACKED with people.
The whole celebration is about 4 nights of what you see in the Youtube video link below. I guess I would be called crazy if I acted surprised to find video on Youtube. It's not great but it gives you a little of what the rides and vendors are like. My camera would make a video of about the same quality so I can’t make fun of the person that did this and if you can’t be here for the festival then it’s the next best thing.
Festival of San Teodoro
The carnival rides remind me of how I would like to take some of my Italian friends to the US. Back in Ohio I could take them to King’s Island just north of Cincinnati or Cedar Point up by Cleveland. Some of my best memories of childhood are when I was first allowed to ride “The Beast” at Kings Island and then later in my teens going there for most of the summer with a season pass. Nothing was cooler than riding in the very front of the Beast late at night.
It’s funny that I forgot about those days because people here always ask me what I did as a kid in the summer with no sea to go to. I remember now. The parents would drop us off at Kings Island and we would run wild all over the park. We hardly ever got into trouble except when we learned how to squeal the tires on the “old fashioned car ride” or when we learned that we could screw up the mechanical Smurfs by throwing pennies on their tracks until the Smurfs got stuck or…. Ahhh, the good ol’days….