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Jousting of the Saracens



Italy - Arezzo


From: 2016.06.18 To: 2016.06.19



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The Tuscan hill town of Arezzo and its Piazze Grande provide the perfect backdrop for a day of medeival fanfare. Eight knights, two from each of Arezzo's four rival districts, enter the square from each corner dressed in their respective neighborhood colors. Pick your location carefully because each corner of the piazza represents an Arezzo district. The knights converge at full gallop towards a Saracen, an armor-plated dummy holding a cat-'o-nines-tail, which is a leather whip from the Middle Ages. How the joust will play out, however, depends on the ability, courage and luck of the eight jousters traversing the piazza. The number of knights who successfully hit the rotating Saracen's shield determine who wins the competition. While this is popular annual event, its exact origins are disputed even within Arezzo. Some say it is reminiscent of the Crusaders fighting the Muslims, while others date it to the days of Neapolitan, and others yet date it to the knighting of Ildebrando Giratasca. Nevertheless, today's performance is reminiscent of princely acts of the Middle Ages, and whatever was lost over time is made up for with the imagination of contemporary events. The event is held twice a year, a night version on the third Saturday in June and a day version on the first Sunday in September.

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