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The Ferie delle Messi traditional fair in San Gimignano

The famous town of San Gimignano comes alive again this year with the evocative Ferie delle Messi, which means The Fair of the Harvest.

This annual event evokes the town's tradition of chivalry, taking inspiration in particular from the battles of Montaperti and Capaldino, which took place in 1260 and 1289, respectively.

If you're staying at our country hotel Casolare Le Terre Rosse, don't miss the chance to step back in time and learn more about the medieval history of the ancient town of San Gimignano.


The origins of the event

The Ferie delle Messi originates from a traditional festival that used to be celebrated in San Gimignano between 1255 and 1324. It was a sort of ritual to bring about the fertility of the land, hence the name "Ferie delle Messi" or "Ferie Messum", in the Latin version.

It was a much-loved event in which the entire population gathered to take part in medieval dancing, singing, and games such as archery, tug-of-war, and jousting on the ramparts.


The Knights of Santa Fina

This event is still very much felt in San Gimignano, so much so that it is still celebrated every third weekend in June.

I Cavalieri di Santa Fina (The Knights of Santa Fina) are the main organizers of the event. It is an association founded in 1993 that has the main goal of re-enacting the most important events linked to San Gimignano's medieval history. The association's name comes from Fina dei Ciardi, a young girl who died in the odor of sanctity on March 12, 1253, and became the town's co-patron saint.


The 2022 edition

This year the Ferie delle Messi will take place from June 17 to 19.

Friday evening will feature performances by the groups Medioevo in Danza, Compagnia d'Arme della Rocca and Tamburi di San Gimignano.

On Saturday afternoon, the knights chosen by the four contrade (the four subdivisions of the town) will have to compete in the traditional Joust of the Sticks, while the borough girls will face off in the women's competition of the Braid.

Sunday will be the day when the winning contrada will be elected. After a procession in which 500 figures parade through the town center streets in medieval costumes, it will again be the turn of the Joust of the Bastions. The winner of the Joust will take home the Golden Sword, a symbol of the deep bond between the knight and the contrada to which they belong.

If you are near San Gimignano next weekend, don't miss this fantastic historical re-enactment.

We at Casolare Le Terre Rosse hotel are waiting for you for a snack surrounded by greenery at our Bruschetta Bar or for a dinner of typical Tuscan dishes at our Hostaria restaurant.

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