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PALIO DEI TERZIERI

Location

Montecassiano

In the 15th century, following a period of political ups and downs, Montecassiano reacquired full municipal freedom and in 1948 elected twelve men from the terzieri [town districts] to reform the ancient Town Statutes, giving them the right to correct and change the statutes under the control of the Church authorities. Every year, from the third Friday to the fourth Sunday of July, the event re-enacts this piece of history by presenting the ceremonies and celebrations that in the past were conducted rather more solemnly. The town is once again divided into the ancient terzieri of San Salvatore, San Nicolò and San Michele, who challenge each other with their athletes, in games and tournaments such as the Tenzone degli Arcieri [Contest of Archers], the Giostra dei Cavalieri [Horsemen’s Joust], the Morte del Podestà [Death of the Podestà] and the Tiro de lo Canapo [Tug o’ War]. The town centre thus takes on its original medieval character, with the streets and squares enlivened by 400 characters in period costumes who recreate an evocative slice of medieval life. The climaxes of this historical re-enactment are the three processions, each one with its own purpose leading to the following stages of the event, which presents all social groups, from the civil and religious authorities to the working classes.