Feste medioevali (Offagna)
July 24, 2013 § 4 Comments
To continue the adventurous week set in hilltop villages around Ancona, yesterday I went to the feste medioevali in Offagna. The town’s slogan is already ‘the medieval hamlet’, so, you can be sure that this is the place to be to celebrate medieval festivities.
And while this wasn’t the large-scale renaissance festival that they have back in Texas (but, then again, everything is bigger in Texas, right?), the perk of this festival is that it is held in a real ancient hilltop fortress village with a real castle tower, so even if they did not decorate every single tree stump with ribbons, Offagna’s renaissance festival gets points for authenticity. Though smaller in size, I thought it quaint and easier to maneuver around and gave off an air of cozy community.
You are surrounded by this:
You go here:
And then you stroll around all of the little alleys and get lost:
And discover little treasures behind every corner:
There are artisan booths lining the walls (with beautiful jewelry and leather work and all sorts of honey flavours), food holes that correspond to the historical quarters of the village, street performers in costume, music processions, puppet shows, archery competitions (take all of these gorgeous Italian men, put them in tights and white button-up shirts, and give them a bow and arrow… and what a spectacle it is to behold!), street games, choral concerts (including animal masks), spiked wine offerings, music shows, fire twirling, historical exhibits, weapon displays, bird of prey flights, and much more. At the end of the night, we went up to the top of the tower, which was great fun: little corridors leading to dead ends, hidden tunnels, narrow steps, low ceilings, surprise balconies, and a harp player entertaining us from a ledge. This was definitely a “exploring a new temple” Legend of Zelda moment.
To end the night properly and maintain Italian tradition, the town’s bakery came out with fresh batches of pastries at midnight. And as you begin the descent out of the village, stuffing a hot croissant filled with Nutella into your mouth, you think that, in the end, there’s no better place in the world to be than in these Marche hilltops.
Next year, I will have a costume. And I will have figured out how to use the new camera, so that I will be able to take night and action shots that can actually be deciphered, and then you can ooh and aah some more.
The feste medioevali in Offagna run July 19 – July 27. For more information and a calendar of events, click here!