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Appointment with history in Lombardy

Performances, parades and processions in period costumes, flag-wavers and musicians, horse races and battles between enemy armies, palios, drapes and insignia to fight for, historical combat demonstrations and tournaments: with the arrival of the warm season, towns, castles and squares in our region are transformed into a stage dedicated to the history of Lombardy. 

 

With the warm season, Lombardy plays host to many spectacular and exciting events that bear witness to the history, culture and traditions of our region.  And there is no shortage, again this year, of unmissable events: realistic mise en scène  of clashes and epic battles fought in Lombardy, such as that of Legnano (1176) or the Risorgimento battle of Palestro, but also games and tournaments of medieval origin, faithfully recreating the atmosphere of times past. 

 

In Legnano, the Palio of the Carroccio.
On Sunday, May 29, the Palio di Legnano (MI) awaits you to relive the famous Battle of 1176, in which the municipalities allied in the Lombard League defeated Barbarossa's army. In the morning, Holy Mass on the Carroccio in St. Magnus Square, Investiture of the Palio Captains and blessing of the riders and horses. In the afternoon, in Piazza Carroccio, start of the historical parade, with more than 1,000 participants in period costumes. Pulled by 6 white oxen, next comes the Carroccio - a large cart with city insignia around which the soldiers of the medieval communes gathered - followed by the Company of Death, captained by Alberto da Giussano. Finally, the culminating moments of the event: the honors to the Carroccio, the charge of the Company of Death, and the Palio, an equestrian challenge between the horsemen of the 8 city districts, each representing an area of medieval life. 

In Palestro: life and war in the Risorgimento
The Historical Association Compania de le quatr'arme, committed to the dissemination of national culture and history through historical re-enactments, is organising  Military and Civilian Life in the Italian Risorgimento in Palestro (PV) on 27, 28 and 29 May, an event created to commemorate the 163rd anniversary of the famous Risorgimento Battle of May 1859 that pitted the Austrians and Franco-Piedmontese against each other. The city is set as a stage not only for armed clashes, but also for the lives of men and women in a Risorgimento military encampment, reconstructed in all the most realistic details, with flags, tents, grills and sutlers at work, to feed the fighting armies.

Dedicated to St. Peter, the Palio of Abbiategrasso.
On June 19, rendezvous on the outskirts of Milan with the 43rd Palio di San Pietro, in Abbiategrasso: historic medieval parade and lively horse race, to win the historic velvet "rag" with the insignia of the 5 competing districts. In the morning, propitiatory Holy Mass, convocation and blessing of the Rag, Captains, horses and riders. In the afternoon, amidst flags, banners and beautiful medieval costumes reproduced with painstaking passion, the historical procession of Districts departs from the Visconti Castle, with 500 figures on foot and on horseback. The free ride hosts riders recruited by the districts who ride bareback for five laps.
 

To the Palio... in clogs!
Sunday, 5 June, in Desio (MI), the 32nd edition of the Palio degli zoccoli revives the historic 1277 Battle between the Visconti and Della Torre nobles, renewing the dispute in a challenging contest in wooden clogs. Why in clogs? The story goes that before the historic battle, the people were forbidden to wear footwear so as not to disturb the tranquility and hunting of Napo Della Torre. The Viscontis then allowed the use of clogs, to whose festive clamour the people of Desio welcomed Ottone Visconti. In addition to the race, there is a historical procession, falconry performance and medieval fencing.

Historical games and tournaments at the Palio dei Castelli.
The Palio dei Castelli, strongly supported by the Pro Loco, returns to Castiglione Olona (VA) on the first two weekends of July. Worth seeing, the historical parade with more than 250 participants in period costumes, musicians and flag-wavers parading through the ancient village, and especially the bottari of the eight districts rolling their wineskins through the medieval streets to Monteruzzo Castle to win the Drape. Finally, the hoops race, dedicated to the younger participants. And from this year, an added thrill: the Silver Lion Tournament, an exciting historical fencing competition. 

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Ph cover: paliodilegnano.it

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