All Historical Reenactments

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    Calcio Storico Fiorentino – Match of the Siege 2023

    Date: 17 February 2023

    Time: 4:00 pm to 12:00 am

    Match of the Siege 2023 (Partita dell’Assedio 2023), the most important match in the Calcio Storico Fiorentino calendar of events, will take place on Friday, February 17, 2023, in Florence. The game will start around 4 pm in Piazza di Santa Croce, in front of the Church of Santa Croce. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition of the match was cancelled, while the 2022 edition of the event was held on June 17, 2022. Calcio Storico Fiorentino (Historical Florentine Football) is an early form of football born in the 16th century, a mix of rugby, soccer and wrestling, which is still played in Florence. The four teams facing each other on the field are the Bianchi (White) of Santo Spirito, the Azzurri (Blue) of Santa Croce, the Rossi (Red) of Santa Maria Novella, and the Verdi (Green) of San Giovanni. The game, lasting only 50 minutes, is very violent and often ends up with broken limbs and a lot of blood.   SHORT HISTORY The first match of Calcio Storico was held on February 17, 1530, when Florence was besieged by the army of Carlo V and Pope Clemente VII, who were trying to bring back the Medici Read more [...]

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    Calendimaggio 2023

    Date: 3 May 2023 - 6 May 2023

    Calendimaggio 2023 will take place between May 3 and 6, 2023, in Assisi. Traditionally, the festival is held each year in the first Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday after the 1st of May, to greet the arrival of spring. On this occasion, the town is divided in two parts – Magnifica Parte de Sotto (Magnificent Lower Part) and Nobilissima Parte de Sopra (Noble Upper Part). The parts challenge each other for the conquest of Palio, through parades in medieval costumes, reenactment of medieval life and musical performances. A jury, composed of internationally renowned experts (a historian, a musicologist and an entertainment personality), choose the winner of each edition.   SHORT HISTORY The origins of Calendimaggio are lost in time. Most likely, the festival tried to revive ancient pagan customs that celebrated the return of spring and the renewal of the cycle of life. The ancient chronicles tell us that Assisi, at the beginning of the 14th century, reached its maximum splendor, a fact confirmed by the expansion of its walls, its numerous palaces and churches, the presence of the painters Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini, the Lorenzetti brothers… At the same time, the city was divided in two parts – Parte Read more [...]

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    Festa della Sensa 2023

    Date: 20 May 2023 - 21 May 2023

    Festa della Sensa 2023 will take place on the weekend of May 20 and 21, 2023, in the beautiful city of Venice. The Feast of the Ascension is one of the most evocative Venetian traditions, which recalls important moments in the history of the Republic of Venice, through the ceremony of Marriage of the Sea (Sposalizio del Mare). On this occasion, various regattas are held in the Venetian Lagoon. The Ascension Day Feast is, without doubt, one of the most anticipated and appreciated events in the Venetian calendar, not only by locals, but also by tourists.   SHORT HISTORY Festa della Sensa 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 the Doge Pietro Orseolo defeated the Slavs who threatened Dalmatia, allowing Venice to become 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 a centuries-old conflict between the Empire and the Papacy. On this occasion, the Doge received Read more [...]

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    Pisan June 2023

    Date: 28 May 2023 - 6 July 2023

    Time: 12:00 am to 12:00 am

    The Pisan June 2023 (Giugno Pisano 2023) will take place during the month of June, 2023, in the beautiful city of Pisa. The Pisan June is a series of events that take place every year during the month of June, in Pisa. The climax of the festival is represented by the celebrations held in honor of San Ranieri (Saint Rainerius), the patron saint of the city, on June 17.   SHORT HISTORY Originally, Giugno Pisano included only the Luminara of Saint Rainerius, held on June 16, and the Palio of Saint Rainerius, held on the day of the saint, on June 17. In order to create a month of interesting events, the Battle of the Bridge (Gioco del Ponte) was also moved to June, on the last Saturday of the month. Over time, many other events were initiated, more or less linked to the patron saint of Pisa. Noteworthy are the recovered traditions of Mazzascudo, which takes place every year on May 28, in Piazza dei Cavalieri, and the Marriage with the Sea, which is held at the beginning of July. Although placed on different months, the two events usually open and close the Pisan June. Once every four years, Read more [...]

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    Palio di Ferrara 2023

    Date: 28 May 2023

    Palio di Ferrara 2023 will take place on Sunday, May 28, 2023, in Piazza Ariostea, in Ferrara. The Palio of Ferrara is a competition between the eight districts of Ferrara, four districts within the medieval walls – San Benedetto, Santa Maria in Vado, San Paolo and Santo Spirito, and four villages outside the walls – San Giacomo, San Giorgio, San Giovanni and San Luca. During the event, four races are held – the girls’ race dedicated to San Paolo (Saint Paul), the boys’ race dedicated to San Romano (Saint Romanus), the donkeys’ race dedicated to San Maurelio (Saint Maurelius), and the horses’ race dedicated San Giorgio (Saint George).   SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, the people of Ferrara, to celebrate the victory obtained in 1259 by Azzo VII d’Este against Ezzelino III da Romano, ran on donkeys and horses through the streets of the city. The races were institutionalized in 1279, to take place on April 23, for the Saint George’s Day, patron saint of Ferrara, and on August 15, on the occasion of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Later, the Palio began to commemorate the moment when Borso d’Este was appointed duke by Pope Paul II and Read more [...]

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    Transit of Saint Anthony 2023

    Date: 12 June 2023

    The Transit of Saint Anthony 2023 will take place on Monday, June 12, 2023, in the beautiful city of Padua. The Transit of Saint Anthony (Transito di Sant’Antonio) is both a religious ceremony and a historical reenactment dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, held every year on June 12, in Padua, on the eve of the Feast of Saint Anthony, recalling his last moments on earth.   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 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 located about 20 kilometers north of Padua, to his beloved 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, in a place called Arcella, his condition deteriorated and he was hospitalized at the Franciscan convent of Santa Maria de’ Cella. He died there peacefully on Friday, June 13, comforted by a vision of Jesus. Saint Anthony Read more [...]

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    Giostra del Saracino – Giostra di San Donato 2023

    Date: 17 June 2023

    Giostra di San Donato 2023, the first act of Giostra del Saracino 2023, held in honour of Saint Donatus, will take place on Saturday, June 17, 2023, in Piazza Grande, in Arezzo. Giostra del Saracino (Saracen Joust) is one of the most important historical reenactment events in Italy, held twice a year in Arezzo. Giostra di San Donato, dedicated to Saint Donatus, the patron saint of Arezzo, is held in the penultimate Saturday of June, during the evening, while Giostra della Madonna del Conforto, dedicated to Our Lady of Comfort, protector of the city, takes place in the first Sunday of September, during the day. The Saracen Joust is a competition between the four Quarters of the city: Porta Crucifera, Porta del Foro, Porta Sant’Andrea and Porta Santo Spirito. The competition consists of hitting a target held by the Buratto, a revolving armor-plated dummy which 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 about 350 costumed people and 27 horses Read more [...]

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    Palio di San Ranieri 2023

    Date: 17 June 2023

    Palio di San Ranieri 2023 will take place on Saturday, June 17, 2023, in Pisa, as part of the series of events entitled Pisan June 2023. Palio of Saint Rainerius (San Ranieri), also known as the Regatta of Saint Rainerius, is actually a rowing race held every year on June 17, along the Arno River, in honor of the patron saint of Pisa.   SHORT HISTORY The first information about a regatta in Pisa dates back to the year 1292, when a palio was held in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. After the Battle of Lepanto of 1571, when the Order of Saint Stephen fought on water against the Ottomans and captured the pennant of the enemy, which is now kept in the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, the palio began to recall this event. Beginning with 1718, the palio was disputed on June 17, for the anniversary of Saint Rainerius.   THE PALIO Palio di San Ranieri is preceded by a historical procession. The palio is disputed among 4 crews representing the 4 historical districts of the city, two of Tramontana and two of Mezzogiorno – San Francesco (yellow boat), San Martino (red boat), Santa Read more [...]

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    Gioco del Ponte 2023

    Date: 24 June 2023

    Gioco del Ponte 2023 will take place on Saturday, June 24, 2023, on Ponte di Mezzo, in Pisa, as part of the series of events entitled Pisan June 2023. Gioco del Ponte (Battle of the Bridge) is a historical reenactment event held every year on the last Saturday of June, in Pisa.   SHORT HISTORY The Battle of the Bridge has its roots in an ancient violent game called Mazzascudo, held on the day of Sant’Antonio Abate, on January 17. On this occasion, the citizens of the city, divided into two factions, fought with clubs and shields in the current Piazza dei Cavalieri. The game was banned by the Florentines after the occupation of Pisa, in 1407. Over the centuries, the game was repeatedly revived and interrupted, undergoing progressive changes to its original formula. At a certain time, the Florentines invented a dispute that was placed on Ponte di Mezzo, with the clubs and shields being replaced by a wooden board called targone. The last battle disputed after this system dates back to February 6, 1807, when the queen regent of Etruria, Maria Luisa, suspended the game again. The modern version of the game appeared in 1935. During the Second Read more [...]

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    Palio di Siena – Palio di Provenzano 2023

    Date: 2 July 2023

    Palio di Provenzano 2023, the first act of Palio di Siena 2023, held in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, will take place on Sunday, July 2, 2023, in Siena. Palio di Siena is a historical reenactment event held twice a year in Siena – Palio di Provenzano on July 2, dedicated to the Madonna of Provenzano, and Palio dell’Assunta on August 16, in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Palio di Siena is practically a horse race between the 17 contrade (districts or wards) of the city, held in the shell-shaped square Piazza del Campo. The race is preceded by the Corteo Storico (Historical Procession), a parade of about 700 people dressed in medieval costumes. Only 10 contrade out of a total of 17 will participate in the event – three drawn from last year’s participants and seven that were not present at the previous edition of Palio di Provenzano.   SHORT HISTORY Horse races in Siena are held since the 13th century, when the Palio was the closing event of the annual festival dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Mary of the Assumption. Initially, there were many contrade, but after the plague of 1347, Read more [...]

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    Palio di San Paolino 2023

    Date: 12 July 2023

    Palio di San Paolino 2023 will take place on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, in the beautiful city of Lucca. Palio di San Paolino is a historical reenactment event dedicated to Saint Paulinus of Antioch, the patron saint of Lucca, held every year on July 12, in the main square of the city, 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 local 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 on, Palio di San Paolino was 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 10, 1970, a group of Read more [...]

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    Palio di Siena – Palio dell’Assunta 2023

    Date: 16 August 2023

    Palio dell’Assunta 2023, the second act of Palio di Siena 2023, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, will take place on Wednesday, August 16, 2023, in Siena. Palio di Siena is a historical reenactment event between the 17 contrade (districts) of the Tuscan city, held twice a year in the main square of the town, Piazza del Campo. The event held on July 2 is called Palio di Provenzano and it’s dedicated to the Madonna of Provenzano, while the one held on August 16 is known as Palio dell’Assunta, and takes place in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. A contrada is named after a street, a church or an illustrious family residing on its territory. The 17 contrade of Siena still competing today 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 (Forest), Tartuca (Tortoise), Torre (Tower) and Valdimontone (Valley of the Ram). Only 10 teams out of a total of 17 will participate in the race. The number of the participating contrade is composed from seven that didn’t compete at the previous edition Read more [...]

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    Palio di San Rufino 2023

    Date: 24 August 2023 - 27 August 2023

    Palio di San Rufino 2023 will take place between 24 and 27 of August, 2023, in the beautiful town of Assisi.   SHORT HISTORY The origin of this tradition is lost in time. The first mention of this custom in an official document dates back to the 14th century, and the document is now kept in the Municipal Library of Città di Castello.   DESCRIPTION Palio di San Rufino, dedicated to Saint Rufinus of Assisi, the first bishop of the city, is a crossbow shooting competition between the three historical districts (terzieri) of the town: 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 Silver Crossbow (Balestrina d’Argento). The festival begins with the opening of a thematic exhibition, the theatrical performance and the historical market of San Rufino, which recalls the traditional fair that took place during the days of the celebration of the patron saint of the city, Saint Rufinus. Today, the market exhibits characteristic crafts and antiques along a route that goes from Piazza della Chiesa Nuova, through via Arco dei Read more [...]

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    Giostra del Saracino – Giostra della Madonna del Conforto 2023

    Date: 3 September 2023

    Giostra della Madonna del Conforto 2023, the second act of Giostra del Saracino 2023, held in honour of Our Lady of Comfort, will take place on Sunday, September 3, 2023, in Piazza Grande, in Arezzo. Giostra del Saracino (Saracen Joust) is one of the most important historical reenactment events in Italy, held twice a year in Arezzo. The festival takes place on the penultimate Saturday in June, during the evening, under the title of Giostra di San Donato, and on the first Sunday of September, during the day, under the name of Giostra della Madonna del Conforto. The four Quarters of the city which compete in the tournament are Porta Crucifera, also known as Colcitrone, Porta del Foro, also known as Porta San Lorentino, Porta Sant’Andrea, and Porta Santo Spirito, also known as Quartiere della Colombina.   SHORT HISTORY The oldest information about a knightly tournament in Arezzo dates back to 1260, when it was celebrated the investiture of a knight of the order of the Golden Spur in Piazza Grande. 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 Read more [...]

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    Regata Storica 2023

    Date: 3 September 2023

    Regata Storica 2023 will take place on Sunday, September 3, 2023, in the beautiful city of Venice. The Historical Regatta, the most important event of the Voga alla Veneta (Row like a Venetian) calendar, is both a historical reenactment event and a sporting event, which takes place every year on the first Sunday of September, in Venice.   SHORT HISTORY The nature of the Venetian Lagoon encouraged rowing since the first people settled in the area. Forced to move mainly on water, the skills of the locals were soon recognized, and from here to the organization of rowing competitions it was only one step. According to legend, the origin of the regatta dates back to the year 942, when, during a popular festival, the pirates kidnapped some Venetian women. Immediately, the pirates were chased by men in boats, who managed to catch them and release the women. The first use of the term regata appears in a document of 1274, proving that regattas took place as early as the 13th century. The public authorities of the time began to encourage this type of sporting activity, to prepare the crews of the battleships for conflicts at sea. Throughout the 15th and Read more [...]