Tuesday, October 18, 2005


We went to the jousting tournament in San Gemini last Sunday. Medieval fan that I am, I had high hopes, and I wasn’t disappointed. Granted, the jousting tournament consisted of guys (in period costume) riding a horse around a dirt track that encircles the local soccer field. And no, they weren’t aiming at each other, but had to throw their joust at a large shield mounted on a board at the side of the track. Additionally they had to lance a ring onto the jousting stick, again while riding down the track. Anyway, with a bit of imagination it was still very interesting. 

We had missed the start of the tournament, so we missed the best seats in the stands. We walked around the track and climbed the hill for a fairly good view. Even though it had been raining all week long, the day was beautiful and sunny, but a little cool and breezy. The ground wasn’t too wet, because we were on a steep hillside……..I guess the water drained away quickly. 

Art found out, by talking to the lady sitting next to him, that San Gemini has two contradas, or neighborhoods. These rivalries are a big deal to the residents, and as we could tell from the program we’d been given, it looked as if one neighborhood was obviously more skilled than the other, and it also looked as if the favorite was going to win again. 

Once the tournament was over we walked up the hill into town. It was obvious that the town was divided into two sections. Green and white banners flew everywhere in the neighborhood to the left, while to the right all the banners were red and blue.    Apart from the very Renaissance-looking building in the main piazza, the town was very medieval. We looked at each other in amazement……who knew????

Various types of artwork were exhibited all over the city, and a small market was set up, selling mostly handmade jewelry. The townspeople were marching back into the city from the jousting field.  
As in Rotecastello, all types of people were represented in this procession, and to call what they were wearing “costumes” really doesn’t do them justice.    Their clothes looked truly authentic and truly beautiful.    A great deal of time and money must go into these outfits.                 


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home