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The event is known for being one of the most original historical re-evocations in Marche and throughout Italy as it revives the ancient game of pallone al bracciale*. This is a sport, played mainly in ball-game arenas but also in town squares or along fortified walls, which started to become very popular in Italy from the second half of the 16th century to reach a peak during the 18th and 19th centuries. Treia was the birthplace of the greatest ever champion, Carlo Didimi (1798 - 1877), to whom Giacomo Leopardi dedicated the famous poem “A un vincitore nel pallone” [To a Winner at Ball]. The Disfida del Bracciale is set in the time when he was at the height of his career. Since 1978 it has been held on the first Sunday of August, preceded by a series of other events and cultural initiatives. The teams, made up solely of players from Treia, represent the four town quartieri, each of which refers to a different social group of the period: Onglavina refers to the gypsies, Borgo to the peasants, Vallesacco to the bourgeoisie and Cassero to the nobles. During the Disfida the whole town is brought to life with craft workshops, street taverns, sets and shows that create a particularly evocative atmosphere.
* Balls are struck back and forth with a wooden cylinder, called a bracciale, worn over the forearm.