From May to October
21.15 Piazza della Repubblica Casting of the Ceri (from the Cortona Statute of 1325) Delivery of Arms and Flags to Twelve Armories Hours 22.15 Piazza della Repubblica Representation of the Sacred
“MARGHERITA NON ABBANDONARMI”
Representation, realized by the Council of Terzieri of Cortona, of an episode of the life of Santa Margherita da Cortona taken from the book by Simonetta Pagnotti
“WE CALL MARGHERITA”.
CHARACTERS AND INTERPRETATIONS Margherita (Nora Raddi) – Frate Giunta (Azelio Cantini) – Uguccio Casali (Mario Bocci Biagio Del Pecora (Alberto Tattanelli) – Boia (Matteo Pelucchini) – Adriana (Lorella Moschi) Of the Zefferini Choir of Cortona Subject: Jole Crivelli – Organization: Paolo Zoi and RiccardoTacconi Screenplay and Direction: Ferdinando Fanfani – Help Director: Livia Angori
May 5th 04.00pm Piazza della Repubblica
Wines at Santa Margherita Blessing of the Balestrieri and of the Verretta D’Oro Performances of Bandwriters and Musicians of the Historical City of Cortona.
The medieval market – Ancient trades and flavors
That begins the medieval week! The whole city back to life and customs of the past. Wandering the streets you can meet craftsmen that shape the copper, which intertwine the rush and create beautiful baskets; stalls with swords, daggers, bows, but also leather-bound books, masks, medieval jewelry and florins Cortona, used as a bargaining chip. A smell hangs in the air, ancient flavors mingle old crafts … Lots of goodies and treats sweeten the palates of those who let groped.
From 1 to 3 June from 10.00am to 00.00 The Medieval Market hours 9,30am to 10pm *the first day markets will open at 05.00 pm
08 June – Games of the flags, a medieval tradition
Start at 09,30pm – Piazza Signorelli
Night falls, but the city is still awake; ring the trumpets and the drums roll, while the square takes the colors of the flags that flutter in the air, swaying and rustling under the expert hands of the flag wavers. The Flag-Wavers and Musicians of the city of Cortona, along with hosted groups, it performs wonderful games of flags and medieval music, making her heart leap for all spectators.
09 June – The Marriage between Francesco Casali and Antonia Salimbeni
Start 09,30pm – Piazza Signorelli
It comes from distant lands the beautiful Antonia, the future bride of Francesco Casali. The whole city is celebrating! The representatives of the 5 districts of Cortona gather to pay tribute to the newlyweds! The flag bearers and musicians of the city of Cortona perform in spectacular games of flags. Silence falls when the flag-wavers and musicians illuminate the square with torches, swords and fiery drums, offering a truly impressive sight.
10 June – Joust of the Archidado
11,00am – Provaccia (Testing the crossbow)
The game start 04,00pm – Piazza Signorelli
The big day has arrived! The whole city is celebrating: ladies, horsemen and children parade, in beautiful medieval clothes, along the streets of Cortona, the pace of drums and trumpets. The square today is a riot of colors, drapes, flowers. The auctioneer announces one by one to enter the wards. The flag-waving group and musicians of the city of Cortona pays tribute to the newlyweds, the wards and to the entire city, performing wonderful flag games, flying high in the sky, capturing the public’s attention. The tension mounts when, to the roll of drums, he was asked to juggle the first archer. Silence falls, scroll through the seconds while all eyes are turned towards the die, waiting to hear the scocco of verretta. A split second and verretta reaches the target, allowing viewers to catch my breath. In a crescendo of emotions, archers give proof of their abilities, trying to hit the bull’s-eye, a speck almost imperceptible to many, but not to them, and especially not to their verrette. The crowd cheers or despair, as long as the mathematical counting of the two rounds of shooting recites the winning district. The new bride awards the winners, that after the festivities, give thanks to the “Te Deum” in the cathedral, then parading through the streets and main squares of Cortona, under the applause of rionali and all the spectators.
08.00pm – Ristorante Tonino, Cortona
medieval dinner in costume (reservation required)
The party continues! With songs and ditties, the districts find themselves around the table, to toast together and pay tribute to the winners. The medieval week ends thus, in a cheerful and joyful atmosphere, with the mind already turned to next year and the next’s Giostra.
National competition shooting with the historical arc L.A.M. The mobile and fixed targets, located throughout the city, together to taste the beauties of Cortona, together with archers dressed in medieval clothes.
THE ARCHIDADO JOUST
The Archidado Joust traces its origins back to the Middle Ages and was officially created in 1397 to celebrate the wedding of Francesco Casali, the Lord of Cortona, and Antonia Salimbeni, a noble woman from Siena. In the city of Cortona, this historical event is recalled every year on the second Sunday of June, when people are lead back to the ancient medieval splendor of the city. The streets are decorated in medieval style, ladies, knights, flag flyers, crossbow shooters, soldiers, pages, civil and religious authorities, all dressed with fine costumes, liven up the city center, which is rich in history and artistic beauties of every time.
The Archidado Joust traces its origins back to the Middle Ages and was officially created in 1397 to celebrate the wedding of Francesco Casali, the Lord of Cortona, and Antonia Salimbeni, a noble woman from Siena. In the city of Cortona, this historical event is recalled every year on the second Sunday of June, when people are lead back to the ancient medieval splendor of the city. The streets are decorated in medieval style, ladies, knights, flag flyers, crossbow shooters, soldiers, pages, civil and religious authorities, all dressed with fine costumes, liven up the city center, which is rich in history and artistic beauties of every time. The Council of Terzieri is really proud of recreating this joyful atmosphere and hopes that the striving competition for winning the golden arrow called “verretta” will emotionally involve not only the five quarters but the whole city, for a moment of genuine joy and funny craziness that makes us coming back to the past.
The well documented historical work “CORTONA NEL MEDIOEVO” (Cortona in the Middle Ages) by our illustrious fellow citizen Girolamo MANCINI is of primary importance for this topic. From chapter XXVI “Francesco Casali marries Antonia Salimbeni” (year 1397, pages 248-249).
… “The beautiful young woman arrived in Cortona on 8th January 1397, escorted by Uguccio and the bridegroom. Attending the nuptials were guests from Florence, Castello and M. Niccolò Castracani, each followed by ten horses, Ottavio Ubaldini and his wife and twenty horses, the landlord of Baschi and other gentlemen with smaller escorts, a large number of trumpets, pipes, players of several instruments, fencers and performers.
The Malatestas from Rimini, as well as Castiglione Aretino, Isola Maggiore, and the lodgers from Lake Trasimene sent gifts. The rectors of the Guilds In the city, the heads of villas in the county, all the families of the Comune, even the modest ones, offered sweets, poultry, birds, and hay for the horses. A precious girdle made of pearls costing 100 florins donated by Castello, a piece of vermillion velvet offered by Florence, a horse and two pieces of cloth interwoven in silk and gold sent by the Marquise Malatesta Malatesti, and 200 florins chest jewel sent by Carlo Malatesti were especially admired among all the gifts. In order to furnish Palazzo Casali, which had been slowly depredated by courtesans, the citizens loaned beds, tables, linens, basins, silverware and other household goods. During the days of the splendid celebrations, jousts and dances followed one another…”.
Offert of candles to Saint Margaret
From the “Cortona Statute” of the year 1325: The festivities of Saint Mark and Saint Margaret were particularly solemn. A few days before their recurrence, the Council of the Hundred would decide on how to celebrate them. Three gentlemen nominated by the vicar decided on the weight of the wax that guilds and villas had to offer: every rural household would pay 6 deniers for the oblation to Saint Mark and 4 for the one to Saint Margaret. These compulsory offers were received and guarded by three other gentlemen, who would get fined 20 pennies, like the offers, if the wax being offered and accepted was less than the established weight.
Then the Council would order and the vicar would approve to use part of the wax and sell part of it to the benefit of the two churches.
“A huge number of worshippers would come from out of town to the celebration of Saint Margaret, so the Council would always deliberate on how to guard the city and order extra guards. Male visitors were hosted by citizens, whereas women were hosted in churches. The City would provide 20 measures of straw for their bedding in homes and churches, as well as 25 measures of thinly-cut wood to be donated to visitors who asked for it.
The vicar watched over the supply of bread, the increase in food prices and kept one of his notaries near Saint Basilio to guard the city, to check on the guests and to allow only guards to linger overnight around the church of Saint Margaret. The penalty for all crimes committed was doubled.
Twelve jousters chosen by the vicar would joust with weapons and flags provided by the City and donated to the Church at the end of the festivity”. Around the time of vesper, the vicar and the officials, together with the city councillors, rectors and council members of the guilds, the clergy and friars would go on a procession from the square of the town hall to the Church of Saint Margaret to offer two candles of 4 pounds each (from chapter XX pages 48 and 49 of “The Cortona Statute of the Year 1325” Cortona city library, Mancini publisher 1963, “Cortona nel Medio Evo”, Florence 1894).