Jousting the Bear

Jousting the Bear

March 10
Although jousting normally involves two knights charging each other on horseback with lances, the custom has been changed somewhat in Pistoia, Italy, where La Giostra dell' Orso is held in March each year. Twelve horsemen representing the town's four districts join in a procession to the Cathedral Square, each accompanied by a group of costumed attendants. They compete against each other in pairs, racing at a gallop toward the effigies of two bears holding targets in their outstretched paws. Points are won by hitting the targets, and the most successful knight is proclaimed Knight of the Golden Spur of Pistoia.
CONTACTS:
Italian Government Tourist Board
630 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1565
New York, NY 10111
212-245-5618; fax: 212-586-9249
www.italiantourism.com