Italy’s Medieval Festivals: A Fairy Tale Come Alive [Video]

medieval-festival

The season for Italy’s Medieval festivals is upon us. And it’s just like a fairy tale come alive! There’s a feeling of magic in the air! 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 a 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 the season, which lasts mostly from April through October. Mayhap you’ll decide to attend them all!

The Palio of Siena (Tuscany)

palio-horse-race

[Image by bearinthenorth via Pixabay; CC0]

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.


The Battle of the Oranges in Ivrea (Piemont)”

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

This unusual battle 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 di Ascoli Piceno (Marche)

knight

[Image by edusoft via Pixabay; CC0]

Look for this festival, which features horse races and sports, on the first Sunday of August. Medieval sports such as jousting and trying to hit a rotating dummy, before the dummy manages to knock him off with a ball and chain. Sounds pretty dangerous, if you ask us!


The Game of the Bridge (Pisano in Tuscany)

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

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


And in our own region of Abruzzo.

The most famous is the Medieval pageant and horse race of Lanciano, held in September. While 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 that saved the town from destruction.

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

It’s a special experience, which I’m sure you won’t regret!

[Image of us at Modena Medieval festival © our friend Richard; all rights reserved.]

4 thoughts on “Italy’s Medieval Festivals: A Fairy Tale Come Alive [Video]

  1. I am enjoying oyur blog off and one over the past year or so. I enjoy reading about your choices and your Chriostian endeavors in Italy. But the Medieval Festivals sound like such fun! How fortunate you can be there. Would love to hear more.

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    • Thank you, dear Cynthia! I too enjoy your blog, although lately haven’t had time to read many blogs. We’ve been traveling a lot, etc. The Medieval Festivals ARE fun, and for the most part free!! We had an English minister visiting us, and took him as a treat. But we had such fun that we hope to do it again sometime! If you ever make it over here, I highly recommend going!

      Like

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