Urbino’s neighborhoods use the centuries-old tradition of kite-making to engage in a fierce but friendly battle each September.
Sirto Sorini, 78, and Mauro Patarchi, 44, huddle intently over a table filled with objects that resemble an arts and crafts project in the same manner two men in America might analyze the engine of a 1960’s muscle car.
The pair makes gestures to each other as they speak rapidly and begin working with the materials in front of them.
They are preparing for the annul kite festival known as the “Festa dell’aquilone” which has taken place annually in this small Italian town since 1944. Every September, the ten neighborhoods that comprise Urbino engage in a competition with a fierceness at odds with the vision of graceful kites.
Sir proudly displays the trophy he won in the competition last year in his front window. A passerby sees the old man through the window and shouts, “The king of the kites!”
This king of kites has been began making kites at the age of six, and has been teaching the people of his neighborhood his skills for over half a century.
He says that the people of Urbino had been building kites for centuries but it was not until 1952, eight years after the first competition, that the trophy and event were made official…
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