PROGRAM 2019

Saturday 1 June 2019

from 5.00 pm to 10.00 pm – Piazza Signorelli

Let the medieval week begin! The whole city returns to relive customs and traditions of the past. Walking through the squares you can meet artisans who shape the copper, which weave the reed and create beautiful baskets; docks with swords, daggers, bows, but also books bound in leather, masks, medieval jewels and Florentine Cortona, used as currency exchange.
A fragrance hovers in the air, ancient flavors are mixed with ancient crafts … Many delicacies and delicacies sweeten the palates of those who let themselves be tempted.

Sunday 2 June 2019
Medieval market – Ancient crafts and flavors

from 10 am to 10 pm – Piazza Signorelli

Let the medieval week begin! The whole city returns to relive customs and traditions of the past. Walking through the squares you can meet artisans who shape the copper, which weave the reed and create beautiful baskets; docks with swords, daggers, bows, but also books bound in leather, masks, medieval jewels and Florentine Cortona, used as currency exchange.
A fragrance hovers in the air, ancient flavors are mixed with ancient crafts … Many delicacies and delicacies sweeten the palates of those who let themselves be tempted.

Friday 7 June 2019
Flags games, a medieval tradition

9.00 pm – Piazza Signorelli

Night falls, but the city is still awake; the clarinets are ringing and the drums are rolling, while the square takes the colors of the flags that fly in the air, swaying and rustling under the expert hands of the flag-wavers. The Sbandieratori and Musicians Group of the city of Cortona, together with the hosted groups, performs in wonderful games of flags and medieval music, making the heart of all the spectators present startle.

Saturday 8 June 2019
Marriage between Francesco Casali and Antonia Salimbeni

9.15 pm – Piazza Signorelli

The beautiful Antonia, the future bride of Francesco Casali, comes from distant lands.
The whole city is celebrating! The representatives of the 5 districts of Cortona meet to pay tribute to the newlyweds! The flag-wavers and the 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 evocative show.

Ore 22.30 – Treats of the verrette

The tension rises, visible in the eyes of all the streets! It’s time for the treats of the verrette!
The five masters of arms deliver the wooden spheres with the names of the districts inside an amphora.
In absolute silence the spheres are extracted one by one, thus establishing the order of throw of the Giostra dell’Archidado.
Between songs and dances, a banquet is offered to celebrate the newlyweds and the upcoming race!

Sunday 9 June 2019
Joust of the Archduke

4.00 pm – Piazza Signorelli

The big day has arrived! The whole city is in celebration: ladies, knights and children parade, in beautiful medieval clothes, along the streets of Cortona, at the urgent rhythm of drums and clarinets.
The square today is a riot of colors, drapes, flowers. The auctioneer announces the entrance of the districts one by one.
The group of flag-wavers and musicians of the city of Cortona pays tribute to the newlyweds, the districts and the whole city, performing in wonderful games of flags, flying high in the sky, capturing the attention of the public. The tension rises when, at the roller of the drums, he is called to play the first crossbowman. Silence falls, seconds pass while everyone’s eyes are turned towards the die, waiting to hear the shot of the verretta. A fraction of a second and the verretta reaches the target, thus allowing viewers to regain their breath. In a crescendo of emotions, the crossbowmen give proof of their abilities, trying to hit the center of the target, an almost imperceptible little pin to many, but not to them and above all not to their verrettes. The crowd rejoices or despair, until the mathematical count of the two rounds of firing declaims the winning district. The new bride rewards the winners, who after the festivities, give thanks with the “TE DEUM” in the Cathedral, then parading through the streets and main squares of Cortona, under the applause of the rioni and all the spectators.

8.00 pm – Cortona
Medieval dinner in costume (reservation obligation)

The party continues! Between songs and stornelli, the districts gather around the table, to toast together
and pay tribute to the winners. The medieval week ends like this, in a joyful and joyful atmosphere, with the mind already turned towards the next year and the next Giostra dell’Archidado.

 

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.

Historical origin

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 wedding

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).

giostra-dell-archidado-cortona