Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

The people of Sansepolcro, Italy

IMG_1835You would think that after living in Italy for six + years that nothing would surprise me anymore. After all, Italy is the land of beautiful landscapes and interesting personalities no matter where you are in the country. And did I mention the food? Well luckily, I am constantly wowed on a daily basis which is enough to keep me living in this country despite a continuous struggle against low wages and increasingly high living expenses.

I first mentioned Sansepolcro in a previous post about the famous Palio della Balestra that I was to attend via a blog tour based here the second weekend of September. I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I had yet to visit Arezzo and Valtiberina as a territory, which is as new to me as a babies bum. Living in a famous city like Florence, I am used to enjoying the beauty of my city along with… most of the world, while this area seemed to me to be so much less touristy but not any less beautiful – this is a ‘man-sized’ kind of place. I soaked in the rolling green landscapes and laughed with the quirky characters that inhabit this town. During the season of the Palio – there truly was a genuine happy liveliness to the people who I met there.

This is precisely why I wanted to learn Italian, in order to partake and listen to the funny quips by locals who have a level of comfortable familiarity that I have almost forgotten about {being a semi-gypsy}. These are people who you get the sense of community from which I don’t always see living in busy cities. People who can feel comfortable eating gelato or frozen yogurt while wearing a medieval outfit {complete with tights} on a Sunday afternoon.

By the end of our three-day tour, I pretty much discovered every nook and cranny within the historic walls of the old town. Piero della Francesca’s name was as known to everyone as Mukki brand is to children. We explored the town’s civic museum and saw the 15th century famous painter’s work for ourselves.

The Resurrection, painted by Piero della Francesca around 14063-1465

They say the colours of the land and the shape of the mountains and light of the Tiber Valley helped inspire Piero della Francesca’s works. This was a man who loved his city and signed himself Piero del Borgo or (piero of the town). During the crossbow competition, the townspeople dress up and participate in a variety of events, including an outdoor, medieval market. It was pretty funny to see men in costumes looking very much the 15th century character chatting away on Iphones.

Me and Milly from Bimbiviaggi posing with Sansepolcro locals

I have to say, the palio della balestra was amazing! A huge amount of effort goes into making this competition as impressive as possible. From the flag fighters, to the men carrying the crossbows to the belly and fire dancers – my mouth was agape the entire time.  We bloggers could not stop taking photos {naturally} and reveling in this historical event dating back to the 1400’s.

Stay tuned for posts about the angles of Anghiari, marvelous Monterchi culture, and the food of the Valtiberina region! (because we know how much I love food.).

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0 Responses

  1. Thank you for taking me on a short trip back to an era I like 😉 This is something I miss about Italy (and I miss this country for many more reasons than that), but as a “medievista”, I miss these festivities!

  2. Thanks for posting. I never ran into any of these festivals the few times we visited Italy. There are still a few cities around me that have Italian festivals, but the food is more on the Olive Garden level than real!!!

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Georgette Jupe

Welcome to my personal blog by a curious American girl living and working between Zug, Switzerland and Florence, Italy with my husband Nico and our beagle Ginger. This space is primarily to share about my love for Italy (currently on a 13 year romance) with afar amount of real talk, practical advice, travel suggestions and adjusting to a new culture (Switzerland).

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