Saint Lucy – the shorter day of all

Bracciatello di Santa Lucia (a child’s trademark is the “classic” bite before wearing it around the wrist)

Santa Lucia, il giorno più corto che ci sia (Saint Lucy, the shorter day of all).  This has always been Saint Lucy, since my childhood, to me. The shorter day.

Even if the shorter day of the year falls, this year, on December 21st, I like to think that from tomorrow on days will start getting longer.

Mehr Licht, more light, seem to have been Goethe’s last words on his death-bed.

I can see why.

Anyway, thinking of Santa Lucia, I cannot but think of this feast-related bracciatelli, some donut-looking sweet anise cakes to dip in wine (there’s also a salty version but the sweet one is that of my childhood).

Funny the name: bracciatelli. They remind you of “braccialetti” (bracelets). As a matter of fact, they are called bracciatelly because children used to wear them on their arms.

I bought six this morning, at the bakery’s right in front of my office. Can’t wait to go home and have our little Costanza wear them on her wrists (in the picture, Costanza’s hand, on Saint Lucy, last year).

My grandparentes used to buy them for my parents. Walter and I buy them for Costanza.

And tradition goes on and on.

Santa Lucia, via Passeri, Pesaro

Another curiosity, is the church of Saint Lucy in Pesaro (via Passeri). Same street as the church of San Giovanni and of the Public Library.

Being Saint Lucy the patron saint of the blind and of those with eye-trouble, inside the church, in a side altar, there’s a box where people may drop used glasses for the poor.

Saint Lucy is often portrayed holding a dish with eyes on it (kind of splatter, I know).

Saint Lucy before the judge, Lorenzo Lotto, 1532.
Santa Lucia davanti al giudice, Lorenzo Lotto, 1532

Here is a beautiful painting by Lorenzo Lotto (one of my favourite painters).

It’s an oil on canvas, hosted at the Pinacoteca civica e galleria di arte contemporanea, in Jesi.

It portrays Saint Lucy before the judge and is dated 1532 (another curiosity: the contract between Lorenzo Lotto and the client – here the Confraternita di Santa Lucia – was signed 2 days ago in 1523).


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