The Historic Carnival of Ivrea
The Carnival A to Z

The supreme head of the government of the municipality, from the 14th century the Magnifico Podestà was appointed by the Credendari, the town councillors of the time, and was responsible for administration and justice.

In order to guarantee his impartiality, he was chosen from outside of the municipality, and when he took office, after taking an oath on the Statutes book, the Podestà went to dig out a stone from among the ruins of the Castellazzo using a special hammer kept in the town hall and threw it into the river Dora, in contempt of the Marquis of Monferrato.

The ceremony is repeated every year on Carnival Sunday morning. In the last few years the tradition of the city, represented by the Podestà, offering candles to the Bishop has also been reinstated. It takes place during a service in the Cathedral at 4 p.m. on Epiphany.

A maximum of seventy Credendari, belonging to the various quarters into which the city was divided, formed a sort of senate, and from them the Council of Experts, in charge of writing and reviewing statutes, three Attorneys to keep accounting registers and a Treasurer to manage expenses were elected. The Credendari were the city government and, as such, had administrative and legislative powers.

Every August they held a special session to elect the Podestà for a term of office of just one year, and on taking office he held judiciary power. It can thus be said that as regards the town administration, they had the same relationship as today between Members of Parliament and the Government. The Credendari took part officially in the main events of the town, accompanied by the Podestà.