All Historical events

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    Festa della Sensa 2019

    Date: 1 June 2019 - 2 June 2019

    Festa della Sensa (Feast of the Ascension) is certainly one of the most evocative Venetian traditions, recalling important moments in the history of the Serenissima, through the ceremony of the Marriage of the Sea (Sposalizio del Mare) and the various regattas that takes place, on this occasion, in the Lagoon. Festa della Sensa is, without doubt, one of the most anticipated and appreciated events of the Venetian calendar, not only by tourists, but also by the inhabitants of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The feast was born on the day of the Ascension of Christ, to commemorate two very important moments in the history of Venice. The first event occurred on May 9, in the year 1000, when Doge Pietro Orseolo defeated the Slavs who threatened Dalmatia, allowing Venice to become, starting with that moment, the absolute power of the Adriatic Sea. The second event recalls the peace treaty signed in Venice in 1177, between the Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Alessandro III, which marked the end of the centuries-old conflict between the Empire and the Papacy. On this occasion, the Doge received gifts from the Pope and, at the same time, the recognition of Venice as Read more [...]

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    Perugia 1416 2019

    Date: 7 June 2019 - 9 June 2019

    Perugia 1416 is a historical reenactment event held since 2016 in Perugia, in the second weekend of June, inspired by Braccio Fortebraccio and by one of the most luminous period in the local history. The reenactment is centred on the historic figure of Braccio da Montone, also known as Braccio Fortebraccio, extraordinary and complex protagonist of the city’s history, in a moment full of deep changes, between the 14th and the 15th century. Braccio Fortebraccio was Governor of Bologna, Rector of Rome, Lord of Perugia, Prince of Capua, Count of Montone and Count of Foggia. He was very close to establish a central Italian state in the 15th century. Perugia 1416 represents a competition that takes place between the Five Districts of the city (Porta Santa Susanna, Porta Sole, Porta Eburnea, Porta Sant’Angelo, Porta San Pietro), which will face each other in various challenges to win the Palio. The festival started from the will of rediscovering, symbolically, a fruitful period of the city’s history, and to enhance curiosity, knowledge and sharing. The event is a tentative to involve on a permanent basis the population of Perugia along the whole year, culminating with the popular feast of June.   The fourth Read more [...]

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    Transit of Saint Anthony 2019

    Date: 12 June 2019

    Time: 8:30 am to 10:00 am

    Transit of Saint Anthony is a religious ceremony and, at the same time, a historical reenactment dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, held every year in Padua, on June 12, on the eve of the Feast of Saint Anthony, recalling his last moments on earth. On this occasion, a procession starts around 8.30 am from Piazzale Azzurri d’Italia, in Arcella, a district of Padua, and winds along the streets of the city. Around 9.30 am, the procession reaches Sanctuary dell’Arcella, a church that preserves the room in which St. Anthony of Padua died, and the concert of the bells of the entire city begins.   SHORT HISTORY Born in 1195, in Lisbon, Saint Anthony was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He is known for his powerful preaching and for his devotion to the poor and the sick. In 1231, at the age of 35, sick and aware of his approaching death, Saint Anthony asked to be taken from Camposampiero, a town about 20 kilometers north of Padua, to the city where he wanted to be buried. He was taken to Padua in an ox-drawn cart and, once he arrived on the outskirts of the city, Read more [...]

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    Palio di San Ranieri 2019

    Date: 17 June 2019

    Time: 12:00 am to 12:00 am

    Palio di San Ranieri (Regatta of Saint Ranieri) is a historical reenactment event held every year in Pisa on the date of June 17, the day when the city celebrates its patron saint, San Ranieri. Along with the Luminaria, the Gioco del Ponte and, every four years, the Regatta of the Historical Maritime Republics, the Palio di San Ranieri is part of a series of events entitled Giugno Pisano (Pisan June). The regatta, preceded by a historical parade on the streets of the historical center of Pisa, is disputed among 4 crews representing the 4 historical districts of the city, two representing Tramontana and two of Mezzogiorno – San Francesco (yellow boat), San Martino (red boat), Santa Maria (blue boat) and Sant’Antonio (green boat). Each crew consists of eight rowers, a helmsman and a montatore. The montatore is responsible for the most spectacular part of the race – he must climb a ten meter high flagpole, placed at the finish, on a floating platform, to capture the palio (the flag). The boats recall the typical frigates of the Medicean Order of the Saint Stephen’s Knights. The race starts from the Railway Bridge and takes place over a distance of 1,500 Read more [...]

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    Giostra del Saracino – Giostra di San Donato 2019

    Date: 22 June 2019

    Giostra del Saracino (Saracen Joust) is one of the most important medieval festivals in Italy, held twice a year in Piazza Grande, in Arezzo. In the penultimate Saturday in June, during the evening, is held the Giostra di San Donato, dedicated to San Donato, the patron saint of Arezzo, and in the first Sunday of September, during the day, is held the Giostra della Madonna del Conforto, dedicated to Our Lady of Comfort, protector of the city. The Saracen Joust is a competition between the four Quarters of the city: the Porta Crucifera District, the Porta del Foro District, the Porta Sant’Andrea District and the Porta Santo Spirito District. The competition consists of hitting a target held by the Buratto, a revolving armor-plated dummy who personifies the King of the Indies. The participants, two of each team, eight in total, gallop their horses towards the Buratto, trying to hit the target with a lance. The couple of knights with the highest score win the competition. The Joust is preceded by a procession of 350 costumed people and 27 horses parading along the historical center of Arezzo, ending in Piazza Grande, where the tournament take place.   GIOSTRA DI SAN DONATO Read more [...]

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    Gioco del Ponte 2019

    Date: 29 June 2019

    Gioco del Ponte (Battle of the Bridge) is a historical reenactment event held every year in Pisa, on the last Saturday of June. Along with the Luminaria, the Palio di San Ranieri and, every four years, the Regatta of the Historical Maritime Republics, the Gioco del Ponte is part of a series of events entitled Giugno Pisano (Pisan June). The Battle of the Bridge is held on the beautiful bridge Ponte di Mezzo, between two teams dressed in elaborate 16th century costumes – one representing Mezzogiorno, the districts of Pisa south of the River Arno, and the other representing Tramontana, the districts north of the Arno. The event has five stages: the march of the troops along the riverbanks of the Arno River, the formal opening of the battle, the call to arms, the challenges made by ambassadors, and finally, the battle itself. In the contemporary version, the game consists in the pushing of an iron cart along a specially mounted track on the Ponte di Mezzo, aiming to conquer the enemy’s side of the bridge.   SHORT HISTORY Gioco del Ponte has its roots in an ancient violent game called Mazzascudo, held on the day of Sant’Antonio Abate, on Read more [...]

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    Palio di Siena – Palio di Provenzano 2019

    Date: 2 July 2019

    Palio di Siena is a horce race held twice a year in Siena, on July 2, known as Palio di Provenzano, dedicated to the Madonna of Provenzano, and on August 16, under the title Palio dell’Assunta, in honor of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. Palio di Siena is an equestrian competition between the 17 contrade (districts) of the city, held in the beautiful Piazza del Campo. The race is preceded by the Corteo Storico, a parade of about 700 people dressed in medieval costumes.   SHORT HISTORY Horse races in Siena were held since the 13th century, when the Palio was the closing event of the annual festival dedicated to the patron saint of the town, the Virgin Mary of the Assumption. Initially, there were many contrade, but after the plague of 1347, their number was reduced to 42. A contrada was named after a street, a church or after an illustrious family residing on its territory. In 1605, the Captain Sigismondo Santi and the Cavalier Fortunio Martini made a proposal to the Municipality of Siena, to held the competition in Piazza del Campo. As a result, at the beginning of the 17th century, the Palio was relocated in the Read more [...]

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    Palio di San Paolino 2019

    Date: 12 July 2019

    Time: 9:30 pm to 12:00 am

    Palio di San Paolino is a historical reenactment event dedicated to San Paolino, the patron saint of Lucca, held every year on the 12th of July, in the main square of the town, Piazza San Martino.   SHORT HISTORY In 1169, during the war with Pisa, the government of Lucca, concerned about the constant assaults from the neighboring town, asked the old ally Genoa for help. To strengthen the defence of Lucca, Genoa sent a certain number of crossbowmen. In a relatively short time, the Lucca soldiers became experts in handling the crossbow. In the 14th century, Castruccio Castracani delli Antelminelli, Lord of Lucca, introduced a prize to reward the strongest crossbowmen of the city. From that moment, the Palio of San Paolino will be held regularly on the occasion of the main festivities of the city. The rules of the Palio were established by a document named ordo pro balistari, dated June 26, 1443, preserved today in the State Archive of Lucca. The document is the oldest regulation for an archery competition in Europe. On October 10th, 1970, a group of people wishing to rediscover the ancient tradition of crossbowing, formed the Compagnia Balestrieri Lucca. Today, the Palio of Read more [...]

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    Palio di Siena – Palio dell’Assunta 2019

    Date: 16 August 2019

    Palio di Siena is a horse race between the 17 contrade (districts) of Siena, held twice a year in Piazza del Campo, the main square of the city. The Palio from July 2 is called Palio di Provenzano and it’s held in honor of the Madonna of Provenzano, and the one held on August 16 is called Palio dell’Assunta, and is dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary. The race is preceded by Corteo Storico, a historical parade which includes about 700 participants representing the 17 contrade and the institutions of the ancient Republic of Siena. In the afternoon, the procession starts from Piazza del Duomo and, after parading on the streets of the historical center of the town, arrives on the beautiful shell-shaped square Piazza del Campo. The actual race consists in circling three times the Piazza del Campo. A contrada bears the name of a street, a church or of an illustrious family residing on its territory. The 17 contrade of Siena still competing today in the Palio are Aquila (Eagle), Bruco (Caterpillar), Chiocciola (Snail), Civetta (Little Owl), Drago (Dragon), Giraffa (Giraffe), Istrice (Crested Porcupine), Leocorno (Unicorn), Lupa (She-Wolf), Nicchio (Seashell), Oca (Goose), Onda (Wave), Pantera (Panther), Selva Read more [...]

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    Palio di San Rufino 2019

    Date: 22 August 2019 - 25 August 2019

    Palio di San Rufino is a historical reenactment event held every year in Assisi on the last Sunday of August and the previous three days (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). Palio di San Rufino is a crossbow shooting competition between the three historical districts (terzieri) of the city: San Francesco, San Rufino and Santa Maria. The Palio, a banner painted by a renowned artist, is awarded to the winning team, while the crossbowman who gets the highest score in the single-shot competition receives the Balestrina d’Argento (the Silver Crossbow). The festival begins with the opening of a thematic exhibition, the theatrical performance and the historical market of San Rufino, which recalls the traditional town fair that took place during the days of the celebration of the patron saint of the city, San Rufino. Today, the market exhibits characteristic crafts and antiques along a route that goes from Piazza della Chiesa Nuova, through via Arco dei Priori, Volta Pinta, to Piazza del Comune. In the next days, the Palio continues with the investiture of the crossbowmen, followed by the shooting contest between the three teams of the Compagnia Balestrieri di Assisi, each representing one of the three districts.   PALIO DI SAN Read more [...]

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    Giostra del Saracino – Giostra della Madonna del Conforto 2019

    Date: 1 September 2019

    Giostra del Saracino (Saracen Joust) is one of the most important historical reenactment festivals in Italy, held twice a year in Arezzo. The festival takes place on the penultimate Saturday in June, during the evening, dedicated to San Donato, patron saint of Arezzo, under the name of Giostra di San Donato, and on the first Sunday of September, during the day, dedicated to Our Lady of Comfort, protector of Arezzo, under the name of Giostra della Madonna del Conforto. The four Quarters of the city, which compete in the tournament, are the Porta Crucifera District, known also as Colcitrone, the Porta del Foro District, also known as the Porta San Lorentino, the District of Porta Sant’Andrea and the District of Porta Santo Spirito, also known as Quartiere della Colombina.   SHORT HISTORY The oldest information about a knightly tournament held in Arezzo dates back to 1260, when, in Piazza Grande, it was celebrated the investiture of a knight of the order of the Golden Spur. Later, in 1331, two letters sent by the Tarlati, Lords of Arezzo, mention tournaments with spears held in the city, to celebrate the success of a diplomatic mission in France. At the end of the Read more [...]

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    Regata Storica 2019

    Date: 1 September 2019

    Regata Storica (Historical Regatta) is both a historical reenactment and a sporting event taking place every year on the first Sunday of September, in Venice. The Historical Regatta is a celebration loved by the locals and tourists alike, and the most important event of the Voga alla Veneta (Row like a Venetian) calendar.   SHORT HISTORY The nature of the Venetian Lagoon encouraged rowing since the appearance of the first people in the area, who were forced to move mainly on water. It did not took long until the skills of the locals were recognized, and from here to the organization of rowing competitions it was only one step. Every year, Regata Storica begins with an impressive procession that commemorates the triumphal reception in Venice of Catherine Cornaro, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Cyprus. She, coming from a wealthy and influential Venetian family, abdicated in 1489 in favor of Venice, being applauded upon her return. During the celebration, boats similar to those of the 16th century navigate the Grand Canal, headed by a replica of the famous Bucintoro (Bucentaur), the festive ship of the Doges of Venice. Seven rowing races take place on this day, structured by category, Read more [...]

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    Festa delle Marie 2020

    Date: 15 February 2020

    Time: 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

    Festa delle Marie (Feast of the Marys) will take place on Saturday, February 15, 2020, in Venice, as part of the Carnival of Venice 2020. On this occasion, a procession will start in front of the Church of San Pietro di Castello around 2.30 pm, will pass through via Garibaldi and Riva degli Schiavoni, to reach the stage in the Saint Mark’s Square around 4.00 pm, where the twelve Marias will be presented to the public.   SHORT HISTORY The custom of blessing the girls who were going to get married appeared in Venice in the 9th century. The blessing took place in the Church of San Pietro di Castello, the former cathedral of Venice. On this occasion, twelve beautiful girls from the poorest families of the city were chosen, and each girl was assigned to a rich Venetian family. The family gave her clothes, jewels and a dowry so she could marry. In 844, during the blessing held in the Church of San Pietro di Castello, a group of Dalmatian pirates kidnapped the girls, also stealing their jewelry. The Doge Pietro Tradonico organized the pursuit of the pirates and caught them near Caorle, freeing the girls and recovering their Read more [...]