It is the last day of school in Florence. We are in the piazza having an afternoon gelato when we hear drums and trumpets coming for the elementary school. We head over and see a group dressed in historic garb processing around the school grounds. There are drummers, trumpeters and several flag carriers. The flags are emblazoned with the red Giglio, the stylized lily that has been the symbol of Florence since the time of the Medici.
The flags are tossed, twirled and juggled in an impressive display of coordination, grace and great concentration. One youth works with three flags somehow juggling them behind his legs and up in the air.
At one moment six performers wield their flags in unison and then hurl them high high overhead. There is a moment when the flags seem to float, fully unfurled. Below, breaths are held and eyes track. Each flag is caught by a new pair of hands with a beautiful turn and flourish.