The rites of the holy week in Taranto date back to the time of Aragonesi. The confraternities and the pilgrims took part in the sepulchres of the old city. Each group of believers headed a "troccolante", the brother with the troccola, a wooden instrument that produces the classic "trac-trac".
Today the rites begin on the afternoon of Holy Thursday with the pilgrimage of the Confreres of Carmine along the altars of the reposition set up in each church of the city. Couples or "perdune" start from Carmine walking barefoot with the characteristic wide-brimmed black hat and white hood, running through the streets of Taranto with a slight rocking called "a nazzecate". When the posts cross each other they greet with "u salamelicche", a kind of reverence in which one takes off his hat and clasps rosaries and medalers in the chest.
The pilgrimage, after many hours, ends at midnight, and in the church of San Domenico starts the Madonna's Procession.
Carried on the shoulder by a small group of confreres, the Madonna walks all night through a crowd of worshipers and returns to San Domenico at 5.00pm on Good Friday. At this point begins the Procession of the Mysteries with the hooded confreres and the statues of the passion of Jesus.