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Home Historic reenactments in Emilia-Romagna - 2017

Historic reenactments in Emilia-Romagna - 2017

Going back in time is possible in Emilia-Romagna, and without a time machine.

Reliving the splendors of the Renaissance, wearing medieval costumes, witnessing battles to the death and tournaments among knights, taking part in parades, trying out traditional crafts, enjoying plentiful banquets and libations, entertaining yourself among minstrels, fire-eaters, flag-wavers, music and dancers. The atmosphere and life of times gone by at the festivals and “Palio” in costume that, along the Via Emilia, will bring ancient glories back to life and reenact the events that left their mark on the history of this land.



Among the more traditional reenactments, one that stands out is in the city of Ferrara where the oldest Palio in the world has been held since 1259, a great opportunity to celebrate and remember the Renaissance, a time in which this city was considered a capital. For the whole month, starting from May 13, celebrations, the magnificent parade in Renaissance costumes with more than 1000 participants, spectacular dramatizations, flag-wavers and music will accompany visitors up to the spectacular horse race in Piazza Ariostea, on Sunday, May 28, an exciting race to obtain the tapestry of Saint George, the patron saint of the city.


Also the Castle of Ronchi di Crevalcore, just outside Bologna, will host Walking around the Middle Ages on May 6 and 7. You will be taken back to the year 1390, to the battle that made Crevalcore into an important theater for fighting, with the battle between the army of the duke Alberico da Barbiano, commander of the Bologna troops, and the Visconti army. Re-enactors and military groups from all over Italy will offer visitors a glimpse of daily life in a military camp, as well as combating and archery demonstrations. There will also be musical and theatrical entertainment, learning labs about weapons and crafts and a well supplied medieval food stand.


In the same days, nearby San Giorgio di Piano will host A Glimpse into the Middle Ages to celebrate and remember the "Great Countess" Matilde di Canossa, one of the most important and interesting figures of Italian medieval history. Along with the military camp, also ancient crafts will be reenacted by real armigers and archers. Flag-wavers and many other figures in costume will walk the streets downtown where there will be exhibitions and shows accompanied by mead, artisanal beer and, of course, dishes inspired by the Middle Ages.



From May 12 to 14 you can dive into the Middle Ages at “Rievocandum Cinquecentesca", which this year will be held in Campovolo in Reggio Emilia. More than 800 participants including soldiers, armorers, merchants, flag-wavers, and musicians will all present medieval crafts and everyday life scenes in a festive atmosphere characterized by shows of every kind with artists from 6 countries and the food of 14 taverns.


In Lugo, near Ravenna, from May 13 to 21, history will come to life with the Palio of the Contesa Estense”. An entire week of splendors, games, processions, and shows in honor of the Duke Borso d'Este who in 1471, on his way to Rome to meet with Pope Paul II to receive the title of Duke of Ferrara, stayed in the Castle of Lugo together with his impressive court, bringing with him days of celebration for the city which at the time enjoyed prosperity and peace. Among the many Palio and trophies on schedule, this year is the 40th Palio of Flag-wavers.


Also with a long history is the reenactment of the Sposalizio del Mare (Sea Wedding) on schedule in Cervia for three days from May 25 to 28. This ritual dates back to a legend lost in time, now in its 573rd edition, and recalls when the Bishop of Cervia Pietro Barbo, who was caught completely off guard by a terrible storm at sea, threw his ring into the water, thus calming the sea, and so this event has always been celebrated by this seaside town since 1445 with ceremonies and festivities. The day of celebration of the ancient ritual at sea and the competition to fish out the ring, where young Cervia people fight to get the “trophy” that brings good luck and prosperity, is preceded by the “Cursa di Batell”, a historic regatta with armed historic ships, and the trophy of the ring, an archery competition, as well as exhibitions, shows and markets.



With the "Abbess Fair", which will be held from May 26 to 28, knights and dames in a parade will remind Ozzano dell'Emilia (BO) of the legend of the love between Lucia, the Abbess of the Camaldolese monastery of Stifonti (Settefonti), and the knight Rolando.  The reenactment of the events involving these two lovers will take Ozzano back to 1100.  Now in its 32nd edition, this festival's main event is the big parade in costume that winds through the streets downtown with archery and flag-waving demonstrations.  There will also be entertaining shows in the evening, medieval games, and a medieval market.


On May 27 and 28, the medieval town of Grazzano Visconti, near Piacenza, will get all decked out for the occasion of the historical reenactment of Valentina Visconti's marriage which peaks in a magnificent historic parade.  It was at this time of year, around the end of the 1300s, that the count Giovanni Anguissola received the beautiful Valentina, of the D'Asti noble family, on her way to France to meet her future husband, the Duke of Orleans. And, to decide who would have the honor of escorting her to her destination, the Count organized a Palio with dexterity, ability, and bravery challenges among the Piacenza noble families of Anguissola di Vigolzone, Travo and Altoè, the Nicelli from Alta Valnure and the Malaspina from Bobbio.

For the 40th edition, there will be a smorgasbord of flavors and traditional crafts, military camps, arts and jobs, the historic parade and the horse tournament, the archery competition and the medieval dinner to bring good luck.



The month of May ends with Quattro Castella (Re). The town reenacts an important episode of European history which took place in Bianello between May 6 and 10 in the year 1111 when the emperor Henry V came to Bianello to crown the Great Countess Matilde as vice queen vicar of Italy.  The festival traditionally takes place on the last weekend of May, this year from May 26 to 28, and is called the great Matilde Historic Parade.  As always there will be many medieval shows with the participation of hundreds of people in traditional costumes who meet up at the foot of the Bianello castle creating a spectacular and exciting reenactment.


Gropparello (Pc) will put on its party dress on Sunday, June 4 during the Courtly Wedding. This splendid day of festivities at the castle celebrates the marriage of Pietrone da Cagnano and Rosania Fulgosio. In the prestigious rooms of the Castle Rosania there will be a court of people and nobles celebrating. You can take part in the guided visit of the castle while children can discover the wonders of the Fairytale Park.


The upcoming historic reenactments in Emilia-Romagna

Last modified May 08, 2017

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