Italy. Middle Ages: 9 of the most spectacular events in August
In August, all of Italy seems to be returning to the past. Almost every city hosts knightly tournaments, theatrical performances, reconstructions of historical events, united by one theme – the Middle Ages. Together with the Italian National Tourism Agency, TURIZM.RU chose the 15 brightest historical holidays to be held during the last month of summer in different Italian provinces.
1. Medieval August
July 30 – August 8, 2016
Ventimiglia (Province of the Empire, Liguria Region)
“Medieval August” is an annual holiday held in the Ligurian town of Ventimiglia. A magnificent sight in which there is no place for the modern benefits of civilization, and even the costumes are thought out to the smallest detail. The program of events includes a competition between standard-bearers of different districts of the city (asteludo), a massive night relay race, and most importantly – a theatrical performance dedicated to various episodes of the city’s history.
2. Medieval holiday “Joyful time”
August 4 – 7, 2016
Gemona del Friuli (Udine Province, Friuli Venezia Giulia region)
The feast in the style of the Middle Ages “Tempus est iocundum”, which is translated from Latin as “Joyful time” (after the name of one of the poems from the medieval poetry collection “Carmina Burana”) was conceived with the aim of awakening the creative imagination and imagination of the residents and visitors of the town, to present they have the opportunity to “peep” into the distant past for one weekend. Here you can see with your own eyes how life went on every day and even try yourself as a cook, laundress or even a warrior.
3. Sea Festival Palo del Golfo
August 5 – 8, 2016
La Spezia (Liguria region)
The Palo del Golfo competition is the most anticipated event for residents of 13 villages along the Golfo della Spezia Bay. The contest takes place on typical Ligurian boats in the Bay of poets Golfo dei Poeti.
4. The Knightly Tournament of Quintana di Ascoli Piceno
August 6-7, 2016
Ascoli Piceno (Marche region)
The history of the knightly tournament dates back to the 9th century, when the Saracen robbers seized the local places. Horse riders representing irreconcilably rival areas of the town participate in this competition. The tournament lasts three days in a row. The main task of each of the participants is to hit with a spear a target fixed on the left hand of the “phantochcho” doll, here nicknamed “Saracen” or “Moor” (“moro”). The tournament is always accompanied by a solemn theatrical procession.
5. Equestrian jousting tournament Palo dei Normanni di Piazza Armerina
August 12-14, 2016
Piazza Armerina (Enna Province, Sicily Region)
Plutia, aka Platea or today’s Piazza Armerina, has long been once a year the venue for the oldest of the medieval festivals celebrated in southern Italy. It is dedicated to the military campaign undertaken by the Normans in Sicily in 1060, and the protagonist is the Virgin Mary – the patroness of the city. The tournament lasts three days. Competitors pass a series of tests for strength and dexterity. At the end of the tournament, the historical motorcade passes through the main streets, solemnly carrying the flag and honoring the winners.
6. Historical holiday “Hunting for wild boar”
August 13 – 15, 2016
Mondavio (province of Pesaro – Urbino, Marche region)
7. Balestra del Girifalco
August 14, 2016
Duomo Square, Massa Marittima (Grosseto Province, Liguria Region)
This is a fascinating competition in shooting accuracy from an Italian mounted crossbow. The competition involves 8 crossbowmen from each of the 3 districts of the city, which can be distinguished by color: Chittanuova (white, red, green), Chittavecchia (white, black, yellow) and Borgo (golden, blue and red).
8. Traditional equestrian competition Palo di Siena
August 16, 2016
Siena (Tuscany region)
This is one of the most famous historical folklore festivals held in Italy. Palo’s rules are partially fixed already in the texts of 1644, when the first equestrian competition took place. Since then, it has been held annually for more than four hundred years. Palo is held on July 2, and rivals try to challenge the victory won on August 16. Each of the two races is preceded by traditional celebrations, which play the role of preparing for the main competition.
9. The Royal Party (Partita del Re)
August 16, 2016
Castrovillari (Prov. Cosenza, Calabria region)
In the small town of Castrovillari, an unusual chess game is played, where the role of chess pieces will be played by living people in original costumes.
10. Pali Lani
Mondino (Prov. Rimini)
August 18 – 21, 2016