Annual Italy Events
- Niballo Tournament
- 30 Jun
- Traditional Folklore Festivals
History comes to life in Faenza, about 36 miles southeast of Bologna, for the Niballo Tournament on the 4th Sunday Of June each year (the word Niballo comes from a vulgarization of the word 'Annibale' which is the hated symbol of the Saracena threat). The origins of the contest go back to the Middle Ages. During lulls between the frequent wars and local skirmishes of the time, knights needed to keep in practice, and tournaments provided the opportunity for them to do so. The Niballo tournament became so famous that Emperor Frederick Barbarossa came to see it when he was passing through in 1165.
Five riders in authentic Renaissance armour compete for the Palio, a prized silken banner that is awarded to the winner. They ride at breakneck speed toward the 'Niballo' down a straightaway, where they must strike the armoured, spinning dummy with their lances (which are more than eight feet long). In true medieval style, the winner receives a 'Torre d'Oro' (a miniature ceramic tower in gold), the runner-up receives a suckling pig and the rider who comes in third wins a cock and a head of garlic.
The race comes at the end of weeklong festivities that include a flag-throwing contest, feasting, music and pageants in costume. The color and historical authenticity of the Renaissance costumes for the Niballo make the event a vivid return to the past. Faenza has been famous for ceramics since the Middle Ages and has an International Ceramics Museum. An annual, summer-long Ceramics fair and exhibition begins the week of the Niballo festivities.
- Historical Center Faenza
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Annual Events in Italy
In this section we are compiling a list of Italy events which occur more or less on the same day on an annual basis.
They have been grouped by theme and behind each link is a description of the event, its location, as well as external links to help you plan further.
You can also find an event from the calendar below.
NB Over the course of 2013 we are transferring the events featured here into the main regional guide pages of Delicious Italy.
This Events section will then be unpublished.