Joust of the Saracens

Joust of the Saracens

June and September
The most famous of the Italian jousting festivals, La Giostra del Saracino originated during the Crusades (11th-13th centuries), when it was used as a form of propaganda to support the fight to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. Eight knights representing the four quarters of Arezzo, where the festival takes place, march to the piazza, where an effigy of a Moor or Saracen (i.e., Muslim) has been set up. The effigy is armed with a heavy flail and a shield, which the knights must try to hit in the center with their lances without being touched by the flail. The winner is rewarded with a golden lance on behalf of his district.
CONTACTS:
Associazione Sbandieratori di Arezzo
Piazza Grande, 35
Arezzo, Tuscany 52100 Italy
39-575-2185; fax: 39-575-2185-7
www.etr.it
SOURCES:
FestEur-1961, p. 119