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Archive for the ‘Festivals in June’ Category

Sagra del Pastasciutta, Fratta San Caterina – The pasta feast of St. Catherine at the local village of Fratta San Caterina (where the hospital is). In 2012 the dates are 8,9 and 10 June and 15,16, and 17 June.  In 2010 this Sagra had 6,000 admissions. It is a pasta festival and this year the menu looks great. They will have rabbit stew pasta for those loyal to timeless traditions, or if you are feeling a little braver, try the past amatriciana (spicy tomato pasta), there will be a vegetarian pasta (perfume of the forest or a fresh tomato pasta) and for those who love strong flavours there will be a hare and wild boar pappardelle pasta and a seafood risotto. It is all for a good cause, run by the local Sport Association for the last 16 years. We are going with guests on Friday, we’ll let you know how it went.

The Jousting of the Saracen, Arezzo

Giostra del Saracino – the Jousting of the Saracen takes place in Arezzo in June at night (23 June 2012) and again in September (Sunday 2nd September 20) during the day. What you see, after months of preparation, are parades through the town in full medieval costume (even the ambulance service wear monks attire) followed by drummers, flag throwing, and then horseback jousting at a huge dummy of the Saracen in competition for the golden lance. It is fiercely contested and well supported by a big crowd.

Medieval pageantry for the Jousting of the Saracen, Arezzo

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The night time Giostra is magnificent. For the full experience, go for the best seats in the house in Tribuna A, which in 2012 are €50 each for the best seats right by the Saracen with a fantastic view of the whole square. Tickets for foreigners are on sale early, from 19th March but are limited in numbers so get in early (ie. months before if you can). They can be bought at the official website http://www.giostradelsaracino.arezzo.it, or email the nice people at giostradelsaracino@comune.arezzo.it and ask for their help to reserve your tickets (in english is fine). You can do it cheaper, by taking seats in Tribuna B at €35, or  Tribuna C at €25, or by going the rehearsals which take place earlier in the week (16th to 20th June in 2012 from 8.15pm with the experienced guys practising from 9.30pm onwards), or by standing on foot with the crowds on the night, but the latter option is very voluble and somewhat excitable, not for the elderly or very young. The night Giostra takes place about 9pm but on the day of that Giostra, when we went in 2009, there were not even standing tickets available by 1pm. We highly recommend it, as good the Siena Palio.

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