Renowned as one of the most powerful cities in the Etruscan League, Chiusi, in the south of Tuscany, also likes to boast its medieval past. In particular the mid 14th century when the town was finally free from the strife between the Guelphs of Perugia and the Ghibellines of Siena. In this period, in fact, Chiusi begins to mint its own money and has finally gotten rid of the pest, of famine and of war. To celebrate this, and their Patron Saint Mustiola, today the three quarters of town challenge each other in an event known as Tria Turris.
Involving various competitions the quarters of Sant’Angelo, Santa Maria and San Silvestro compete for the keys of the town, for absolute power over the two rivals as well as the honour to defend their Patron Saint. The Palio delle Torri, the Towers Palio, is certainly the most popular. It is a race in which four people for each quarter have to carry a wooden tower weighing over a 100 kg along the narrow and steep streets of Chiusi up to the square overlooked by the Mayor’s balcony.
The Palio dell’Anello, the Ring Palio, is an archery tournament in which three archers for each quarter compete to win the Golden Arrow. This competition involves both a male and a female team. The Tripartita, instead, is an original football game played between three teams and involves three balls and three goals. Apparently not at all confusing.
Thus those entering Chiusi’s old town centre during the last weekend of June will suddenly find themselves in a 14th-century encampment. Celebrations and dancing, propitiatory banquets, fire eaters, musicians, jugglers, merchants, flag-wavers, drummers, soldiers, noblemen and knights act as backdrop to the whole event. Certainly not your usual medieval reenactment.