Many parts of Italy still celebrate ancient traditions, maintaining the unique character and history of their region, city and community. One of these traditions is the incredible annual festival in Ascoli Piceno.
The event takes place on the first Sunday in August and consists of a parade followed by a jousting competition between the city’s six neighbourhoods. It is a celebration of Saint Emidio, protector of the city. The parade is a spectacular affair, as each of the neighbourhoods parades through the centre of the town. Each one is attempting to put on the most splendid display, presenting their warrior for the jousting tournament later in the day. Young lads twirl batons and flags, showing off their individual and collective skill.
Throughout the city the crowd bears the colours of their respective neighbourhoods building the intensity during the afternoon, before the parade sets off from one of the city’s squares to the main stadium. The intense heat during the day means the parade starts at about 6pm, but it is still very warm and a long way for the participants to walk in their heavy medieval clothing.
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