La Medievalia a San Ginesio

medieval soldiers

I may have found a way to get our son Jack to visit us in Italy.

The hilltop town of San Ginesio, about 25 minutes from our property, holds a 10-day festival, La Medievalia, in early August. It commemorates the 1377 victory of the Sanginesine over the attacking forces from the town of Fermo.

The festival is built around a competition, il palio, between the four parts of town. They challenge each other in medieval events: archery, crossbow, and two other events. They are, as I read it, a relay race having something to do with swords (?) and an event where a horseman tries to spear a ring while riding by. (I’ve seen this done, but don’t know the English word for it.)

Throughout the festival, cooks from the four parts of town make dishes based on the cuisine of the period.

The fun concludes on August 15 with the final event, for double points, in which a horseman tries to hit the center of a shield with a lance.

August 15 is a national holiday in Italy and is widely celebrated with a palio, the best known of which is in Siena (actually on August 16 there.). The holiday is believed to go back to the Emperor Augustus, commemorating a battle won vs. Marc Antony in 21 BC, but is held on August 15 to coincide with the Assumption of Mary. In the ancient games, there were races not just of horses, but of oxen, donkeys and mules.

Now, if they raced dragons ridden by elves we’d get Jack over there for sure.

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