Medieval Fun and Games
Some, such as the celebrated medieval
Ascoli Piceno, are major spectacles that draw crowds from afar; others are more homely
affairs where the tourist is the exception rather than the rule. At both types you're
promised a memorable time and plenty of footage for your camcorder.
The kings of the food festivals, however, are the truffle
fairs at SantAngelo in Vado during the last three weekends of October and
at Acqualagna during the last weekend in October and first three weekends in
November - both obligatory destinations for people who take their food
Of the seemingly endless list of medieval festivals throughout the Marche, some
have a long and worthy history while others have been going for a relatively short time.
All draw inspiration from some local tradition or game and use the occasion as a jolly
excuse to parade around in medieval dress. The festivities carry on well into the evening
with open taverne - often a unique chance for the tourist to sample a real festive
atmosphere which is quintessentially Italian.
A selection of the best of these would include the
del Bracciale in Treia - a medieval ball game, during the last week of July;
the Quintana in Ascoli Piceno - jousting in Ascoli's main square on the
first Sunday of August; the Corsa alla Spada in Camerino - ancient games
played out at the feast of the Town's patron, St Venanzio, on first Sunday after 17 May;
the Wild Boar Hunt in Mondavio - a medieval chase in the square in
mid-August.; and the Festa del Duca in Urbino in honour of Duke Federico on
the third Sunday in August.
If you tire of medieval junkets you could always try the
della Rana in Fermignano - yes, a race with frogs in wheelbarrows on the first
Sunday after Easter.
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