Italy’s Medieval Festivals [Video]

There’s a feeling of magic in the air! Italy’s Medieval fest season is upon us, like a fairy tale come alive!  Knights, damsels, and court jesters. Feasting, with music and drummers. Medieval games, horse races, and parades with flags and torches. And it’s easy to imagine yourself the velvet clad Lord, or Lady in silk, off to dine with the king in his castle!

So if perchance you find yourself in Italy, join in the magic by choosing a festival to attend! Or stay for the whole season, which lasts mostly from April through October. Mayhap you’ll decide to attend them all! 

The Palio of Siena (Tuscany)

[Image by bearinthenorth via Pixabay.com]

One of Italy’s most well-known festivals, and well-loved for its horse race in the main square, Piazza del Campo. A special and unique experience for horse lovers, and non! It’s held on both July 2nd and August 16th. But be forewarned. It can get rather hair raising!


The Battle of the Oranges in Ivrea

[Lo spettacolo delle Arance (Trailer) from Salt & Lemon Srl on Vimeo.]

This unusual battle, which took place in Piedmont, marks the uprising against Ranieri, a cruel tyrant, who tried to claim the Aristocratic right to sleep with brides on their wedding night. Until, legend has it, a girl named Violetta rebelled against the law. The real oranges nine teams pelt at each other during this festival symbolize his head, which the fearless girl supposedly lopped off with a dagger!


La Quintana of Ascoli Piceno

[Image by edusoft via Pixabay; CC0]

Look for this festival in the Marche, which features horse races and sports, on the first Sunday of August. Like the Medieval sport of jousting where the rider tries to hit a rotating dummy, so that the dummy can’t knock him off with its ball and chain. Sounds pretty dangerous, if you ask us!


The Game of the Bridge (Pisano)

This ancient Tuscan tradition, much like the more modern children’s game King of the Mountain, dates back to 1568. Teams from various neighborhoods battle to push a wooden trolley into enemy territory. And the winners, of course, becoming kings of the bridge over the Arno River.

[Gioco del Ponte – PIsa 2012 from Newton Video on Vimeo.]


And here in our region of Abruzzo.

The most famous of our festivals is the Medieval pageant and horse race of Lanciano, held in September. But the Flower Festival of Buchianico is the among the most original. Held on the third Sunday of May, it reenacts a 13th century military stratagem which saved the town from destruction.

We bid thee, “Come, Enjoy the magic—of Medieval Italy!”

It’s a special experience, which we’re sure you won’t regret!

[First mage Narnia festival: supertonna0, Pixabay.com.]

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