Italy Today

The Joust of the Saracen in Arezzo

The Medieval festival that Tuscany loves

The Joust of the Saracen in Arezzo

Claudia Astarita


Not many people know that one of the most famous tradition in Tuscany is the one of the "Giostra del Saracino", in English Joust of the Saracen (Moor).

This gathering is held twice every year - on the third Saturday in June and on the first Sunday in September. The whole city turns up in medieval costume in Arezzo's marvellous Piazza Grande recreating a medieval atmosphere.

During the Festival, the city also competes for the "Golden Lance", with knight galloping on horseback remembering the military training exercises in which used to simulate battle. At the time of the Crusades, the bad guys used to be the Saracens or Moors, and the Joust's name clearly reminds this.

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