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Balestro del girifalco

The medieval race of Massa Marittima

One of the largest historical reenactments of Tuscany deserves more than a mention the "Balestro del Girifalco", massetana's tradition par excellence. The evocative medieval crossbow shots race takes place twice a year, usually on the fourth Sunday of May and 14 August. This traditional event dates back to the XIV-XV century when Massa Marittima, including within the Colline Metallifere where brought to life the exciting event, it was a free commune. Ancient historical documents testify to the crossbow and the habit of performing competitions between shooters as early as the 14th century.

The shooting competition takes place between 24 Crossbowmen chosen representing 3 "terzieri", CittanuovaCittavecchia e Borgo, in which the town is divided. The event takes place in the beautiful piazza Garibaldi at the foot of the splendid 14th century cathedral of San Cerbone and is preceded by a parade with more than 150 participants; musicians, districts with their ladies and flag-waving perform suggestive choreography, clothed with precious medieval velvet dresses.

Every crossbowman participates with its ancient crossbow all'italiana, scale replica of those used in the 400; the target is placed at a distance of 36 metres and the shooter who can hurl your arrow as close as possible to the center of the target, giving the victory to his ward. The award is a golden arrow for crossbow archers and a "palio", drape silk hand painted by an artist, to the winning district.


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albero detail
from the same territory