Cultural Italy – La Nivola e il Santo Chiodo

A large percentage of the most fascinating buildings in Italy are religiously themed. The Cathedral in Milan is the largest cathedral in Italy, though Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is a bigger (albeit not a cathedral). Even if you are not religious the cathedral is definitely worth a visit.

La Nivola e il Santo Chiodo takes place in Milan Cathedral, the second largest cathedral in the world! The cathedral itself is a wondrous place to visit even when there is nothing else happening there, but if you are visiting in September you may be lucky enough to be in time for the La Nivola e il Santo Chiodo.

The La Nivola e il Santo Chiodo is a special ceremony where the archbishop of Milan rides a cloud up into the ceiling to retrieve a very important Christian relic, the Santo Chiodo. The Santo Chiodo is purported to be one of the nails that held Christ on the cross. This is the only time of the year when the relic is brought down from the ceiling and the only time you can get a look at it. The history of the nail is a little unclear but it is known that the Roman Emperor Constantine decided to melt it into riding apparel for his beloved horse!

This is a very interesting event even for those not of the Christian faith and a visit to the Milan Cathedral at any time of year is definitely worth while. For more ideas on activities in Italy try reading one of our other car rental Italy blogs. For a car with which to explore the rest of the country check out our car rental Italy page.

How to get there: Milan is the capital of the Lombardy province which is situated in the centre of continental northern Italy. The Cathedral shouldn’t be hard to find as it is located right in the centre of the city and all the locals will be able to point you in the right direction.

If you have been to this festival yourself why not leave some hints for our other visitors to the area below?