Sulmona’s Giostra Cavallaresca, he knight jousting tournament, is an historical Renaissance reenactment held every summer in the main piazza of Sulmona, in the neighbouring province of L’Aquila. An ancient tradition which was revived in 1994, it now forms the highlight of the city’s entertainment calendar attracting a large number of visitors.
The knights of Sulmona’s “Sestieri” and “Borghi” take part in a two-day competition to win the “palio” (prize), a canvas painting made every year by a different artist. Before the tournament, a historical parade sees 500 figures participate. The challenge of the Giostra Cavalleresca between the knights of the 4 Sestieri and 3 Borghi (districts) in which Sulmona is divided, uses Piazza Maggiore as the tournament field.
The horses must run around a complete oval in about 30 seconds, while knights try to insert the rings into 3 targets. The score is established by the number of attempts that the knights (maximum 3 per person) make to insert the rings; in case of tie the different sizes of every ring are considered (the 10 cm ring is equivalent to 1 point, the 8 cm one is worth 2 points and the 6 cm circle is worth 3 points). In case of another tie the time is considered to evaluate the score.
There are several different seating areas called tribune. Each neighbourhood has its own section and you are welcome to buy a ticket in any of these areas so long as you cheer for the right team! The other sections are open to all and are called Santa Chiara, del Fontanone, dell’Anello and dell’Aquedotto. The last 3 tribunes are on the shady side of the piazza so bear this in mind especially if you have young children in your party. The best views are generally considered to be from either L’Anello or San Panfilo as these two seating areas are located right next to the rings.
Tickets are priced between €10 and €20 and can be purchased in person any time right up until the action starts. Cash only here! For the first time this year tickets are also available to buy online on the official website.
More info: www.giostrasulmona.it