Since 1958, the last Sunday of October, Montalcino celebrates Sagra del Tordo, the short version of it you can find in the Opening of the Hunts, that runs the 2nd Sunday of August. Twice a year four districts of Montalcino Borghetto (white and red ) , Pianello (blue and white ) , Ruga ( yellow and blue) and Travaglio ( yellow and red ) compete in a shooting competition with the arc that involves the entire local population.
Sagra del Tordo came into our days from the ancient medieval Tuscan hunting traditions. In the medieval period hunters and falconers were coming home after long hunting loaded with game and all local population were celebrating this event. Nobles and farmers were sharing food and local wine at the same table.
The days of these festivals Montalcino is colorfully decorated with flags and symbols of each District. Walking by narrow streets these days you will meet a lot of people dressed within the colors of the District, they belong to. Some foreigners love to come these days and participate although they do not belong to the districts, but with great pleasure you can find them dressed in colorful polo shirts with emblem of the different districts.
The night before the final archery all Districts organize the dinner with lots of local dishes. If you be able to get a ticket to this fantastic dinner under the sky you can taste local appetizers with the best Tuscan prosciutto, cheeses and famous bruschetta, pinci with meat ragu and strongly good grilled meat and sausages. The dinner will last till late night and ends up with singing the local songs.
The morning starts with the traditional dancing and music, the band moves all over the city and drive everybody into dance. During the day people gather all over, you will find plenty of people everywhere, on the streets, in the bars and restaurants, laughing and singing.
In the afternoon you can admire the beautiful procession of around fifty participants, dressed in costumes that are inspired by those of three hundred late -early fifteenth century, studied and realized in every detail. The procession is accompanied by the sound of trumpets and drums moves from the Piazza del Poppolo passing the Fortress to the battle place. The top eight archers will compete for the victory of the District. The Winner will celebrate all night and all the following year. If you are able to plan your trip the days of this festival you will really enjoy the authenticity of this event and try to participate the dinner.
First my year living in Montalcino I felt myself like a child admiring these beautiful ladies and gentleman dressed these gorgeous costumes, and it seemed to me back to a fairytale.
It was just amazing…..