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Giostra del Saracino (Joust of the Saracens) 2021

Feel the medieval spirit during this ancient knight competition held twice a year in the city of Arezzo

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The city of Arezzo returns to its Medieval origin twice a year. On the third Saturday in June and on the first Sunday in September, neighbourhoods (contrade) challenge each other to the Joust of the Saracen. It starts with a colorful procession of 350 knights and 27 horses parading through the streets and getting a blessing at the Duomo by the Bishop of Arezzo.

During the competition, each participant rides a horse and aims to knock off the opponent. The golden lance is won by the neighbourhood whose knights collect the most points.

This tradition has existed since ancient times. Originally this tournament was held in Arezzo from the 16th and till the end of the 18th-century, that's when some impressive jousts in baroque style were organized. It marked the visits of important guests, such as sovereigns and princes, and also public festivals like carnivals and weddings. In the 18th century the joust eventually disappeared to reappear only in 1904 due to the Middle Ages reappraisal. It was restored on a regular basis in 1931. It is a historical re-enactment of 14th-century military competitions. The game was revived, becoming a unique social event for the urban community.

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