Have you ever wondered what Medieval life was like, or wished you could live back then? Well you can — sort of! By attending one of Italy’s Medieval festivals, from April through October. A special time to experience the Middle Ages at its best!
Italy abounds with Medieval towns, castles, and moats, making the perfect backdrop for its Medieval festivals. Replete with knights in sporting events, pageants, and lords and ladies dancing and feasting!
We often view long gone eras wistfully, don’t we? Thinking, or at least hoping, that surely life was better then. But these festivals make me wonder: what in the world was there really to celebrate about the Middle Ages?
We know that most lived in extreme poverty, dwelling in cold damp houses, eating the poorest of foods. Hard labor earned poor pay, permitting them to own little clothing and few possessions. And they easily took ill, dying young.
But interestingly, the Dark Ages weren’t perhaps as dark as we’ve been led to believe.
With the arrival of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, man started valuing reason above all else. Which of course, led to them to view the previous era as a time of ignorance and superstition. Totally lacking sound reason and common sense. And we’ve also been taught that they believed the Earth was flat.
Yet experts of Medieval history assure us that medieval tradition valued reason as one of the most important human activities. And medieval universities taught that the Earth was a sphere. Even giving an approximate circumference!
Yes, times were hard. But in spite of that, there is something about those times that pulls at our hearts. As shown in video, below.
But I think that perhaps the draw of the Medieval era lies with the fact that deep down many of us long for a simpler life.
Some perhaps are drawn to the chivalry of those times. Hoping that our Prince Charming, too, will come dashing in on a prancing charger. Or maybe wishing that we ourselves could be that knight in shining armor!
I do know that a part of me would love to go back to such simpler times. But of course, I’d just as soon do without the poverty, hunger, and disease! And I’m sure you would too!