Florence, Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano… and then? Arezzo! in Tuscany

Florence, Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano… and then? Arezzo! in Tuscany
For those who have finished with Florence, and want to explore the rest of Tuscany, the classic traveller’s route runs either due south – to the vineyards of Chianti, the towers and Palio of Siena and San Gimignano, the hill towns between Montalcino and Montepulciano – or west to Pisa, Lucca and the coast. Aside from Cortona – a lovely town popularised, and in high season very nearly ruined, by Frances Mayes’s well-meaning memoir Under the Tuscan Sun – eastern Tuscany gets far less attention.

That is a huge bonus for those who do make it to the region’s vibrant little capital, Arezzo, just an hour by train from Florence. They come to this half-forgotten corner, in steady but never excessive numbers, drawn mostly by the joyful frescoes of the Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca, and discover a city rich in art and architecture but mostly free of crowds. As well as being an attraction in its own right, Arezzo is also the jumping-off point for the Casentino valley, an area dotted with Romanesque chapels, medieval castles – one of which hosted Dante – and good restaurants. Two important Franciscan sites, the monasteries of La Verna and Camaldoli, lie high in the wooded mountains that ring the valley.

Lee Marshall, Telegraph.

Save the Date: Saracen Joust Tour- Giostra del Saracino, Arezzo (4st of September)

With our tour you will discover two gems of our province: Cortona and Arezzo. We first stop in Cortona for a guided visit of the town. Thanks to its position on the top of a hill Cortona offers a breathtaking view over the Valdichiana valley. This lovely village, now world-famous as the setting of the best-seller Under the Tuscan sun, is the perfect place for a leisure stop and also boasts a glorious past: founded by the Etruscans in the 7° cen. B.C., Cortona gives you the chance of making a journey through the mysteries of the ancient civilization which constitutes the roots of Tuscan culture. You will have lunch in one of the fantastic “trattoria” of the city centre tasting some of the tipycal Tuscan dishes. After lunch we will move to Arezzo to visit a winery and tasting a good wine from a nice farm with a panoramic view of the town. We finally reach the city centre to enjoy the Saracen Joust. This traditional event will start with a medieval parade through the alleys of the centre to end with the joust.

About Saracen Joust in Arezzo, Tuscany

“I have seen outriders roam your countryside, O Aretines, and seen raiding-parties charge, Tournaments clash and knights galloping…”

Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno Canto XXII.

The Saracen Joust is an ancient game of the chivalry age, but dates further back to the Middle Ages and it was born as an exercise for military training.

The competition takes place every year in Piazza Grande on the last but one Saturday of June (in the night) and on the first Sunday of September (in the afternoon).
The town Quarters participating in the Joust are: Porta S. Spirito (yellow and blue colours), Porta S. Andrea (white and green colours); Porta Crucifera (red and green colours) and Porta del Foro (yellow and crimson colours).
On the day of the Joust the historical procession marches on parade through the center of the city, before entering Piazza Grande. Here the Herald reads the “Challenge to Buratto” (a poetic composition written in octaves), the Joust’s musicians (Musici della Giostra del Saracino) play the Saracen Hymn; there is the wonderful performance of the flag wavers (Sbandieratori di Arezzo). The show begins.
The knights of the four quarters gallop their horses with lance in rest against the Saracen, an armor-plated dummy representing a Saracen (Buratto, King of the Indies). The competition, guided by the “Maestro di Campo“, is won by the couple of knights who hit the Saracen’s shield obtaining the higher scores (scores range from 1 to 5). In the event of a draw between two or more Quarters after the standard number of charges (two sets of charges for each knight) the prize is assigned with one or more deciding charges.
The quarter associated to the winning knight receives the coveted “Golden Lance”.
Source 

Do you want to experience the Saracen Joust Tour (Giostra del Saracino) in Arezzo, Tuscany? CONTACT US!

Le Ceregne Organic Farmhouse experiential Tours

As an example of sustainability in tourism, we’re offering experiential tours where the guests learn farming and making pasta and bread, pick olives and grapes, mushrooms and truffle hunting, enjoy tailor-made green tours and craftmanship tours. We only employ locals and try to give a real sense of local lifestyle to tourists. Also through storytelling and working with local memories… so that they return home having had an amazing experience, without feeling like they have had to spend a fortune to do it! What are you waiting for? CONTACT US! Try our experiential tours in Italy… join our Tuscan tribe!

Ph source:

1) http://www.italia4you.ru/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/arezzo.jpg

2) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/Arezzo.jpg

3) http://www.eventi-arezzo.it/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Famigli_Giostra_del_Saracino.JPG

4) http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2031/2524159193_468d99c33e_o.jpg

5) http://www.visitarezzo.com/img/vita-bella/piazza-grande.jpg

6) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sbandieratori_3.JPG

7) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carriera_Porta_Santo_Spirito.JPG