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Giostra del Saracino

A medieval tradition still alive in Arezzo

Among the most important and evocative historical reenactments of Arezzo is the Giostra del Saracino, Jousting Tournament that takes place twice a year, the first night and the second Saturday of June following the first Sunday in September daytime Edition. The event, which attracts millions of visitors each year, has its origins in the middle ages; during the reenactment the streets are crowded by people dressed in medieval costumes accompanied by horses and the city comes alive colors of flags and ringing of the trumpets; many tourists experience a real journey into the past.

These typical medieval tournaments are also described from the great poet Dante Alighieri at the beginning of the XXII canto of the Inferno, in whose famous initial step cites the Joust of Arezzo:

" corridor I beheld the Earth,

or Aretini, and I saw gir gualdane,
about the tournaments and Fedir correr Joust ".

The Giostra del Saracino the neighborhoods in which the town is divided, Porta del Foro, San Andrea, Porta Santo Spirito and Porta Crucifera, compete to win the golden spear. The horsemen galloping, armed with a wooden spear, point to the buratto (human-shaped target) and its shield emblazoned with 4 sections, each of different value; He won the District whose Knights, during the two rounds on the carousel, get the most points. This unique "Carousel" seems to take inspiration from ancient military exercises that were medieval knights; in training practicing hitting mannequins that, in the period of the Crusades, were opponents, moors and Saracens. From here also the origin of the name of the event.