Discovering the Giostra del Saracino in Arezzo

The Giostra del Saracino in Arezzo is a chivalrous competition in costume, of medieval origin, between the four districts in which the city is divided. It is the most important event in the city and during the week of the Joust, Arezzo is filled with people and events in the various streets and squares of the historic center, giving the city a unique and very suggestive atmosphere.

The challenge is set in the 14th century and consists in hitting a target, positioned in the shield of the Buratto, with a spear during a career (fast gallop) on horseback. Each district is entitled to two careers, one for each available rider, at the end of which the scores are added up and the winning district of the Joust is elected.

The oldest evidence of a Giostra del Saracino in Arezzo dates back to 1260, on the occasion of the investiture as Knight of Ildebrandino Gratasca. Nowadays, the re-enactment of the Saracen normally takes place twice a year, always in Piazza Grande:

the penultimate Saturday of June, at night, for the joust dedicated to the patron saint of the city San Donato;
the first Sunday of September for the joust dedicated to the Madonna del Conforto protector of Arezzo;
During the week before and after the event, parties and costume events take place in the various districts of the city.