Due to Covid-19 Sordevolo Passion play has been postponed to 2022
Since about 1490, the play was performed on Good Friday in the
Colosseum, by the Roman Company of Gonfalon Confraternity,
with a large attendance of people, pilgrims, travellers and notables.
This tradition was interrupted in 1539 by Pope Paul III ‘s prohibition
of such representations, due to the dramatic Reformation period
and the subsequent Luther’s, Calvino’s and other religious movements
detachment from the Roman Catholic Church.
passion text reached Sordevolo through still mysterious
ways. The first hypothesis is that the original text
may be arrived in Piedmont thanks to the relationships
existing between the Roman Gonfalon Confraternity
and Sordevolo St Lucy Confraternity, its direct
affiliate. A second hypothesis takes into consideration
the commercial contacts between the family
Ambrosetti, weavers and merchants of Sordevolo
“fine cloth”, and its own buyers in Rome.Since about two centuries, the entire community of Sordevolo
has been representing the Passion of Christ, in a complete organizing and artistic autonomy.
The next appointment with the public is foreseen for June-September 2020. Sordevolo, 650 metres
above sea level, is situated on the first hills north of Biella,
protected by the next Mt Mombarone and Mt Mucrone,
more than 2,000 metres high. The village may take
its name either from super Elvum, the brook which flows
close to it, or from surdibulum, a vulgar Latin word indicating
a spring waters site, or else from the idiom Solo
riverir Deo volo, written on the front façade of an ancient
In this natural setting of hills, woods and mountains, for
over two centuries from the beginning of ‘800, the representation
of the Passion takes place every five years. Expression of the ancient popular theatre, the
event actively involves the entire community of Sordevolo, about 1,300 inhabitants.