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Ludi di San Bartolomeo – Formigine

Last week, when we were looking for a Sunday adventure, we ventured just a few miles away to a lovely old town called Formigine to celebrate the Ludi di San Bartolomeo.

This medieval festival included a lively competition between quartiere, each donning unique colors and carrying a flag that represents their neighborhood.

On the grounds of the Castello di Formigine, participants wearing full medieval dress competed in jousting matches, team log sawing and other games designed to involve even the youngest in each group.

Each group included a representation of the patriarchal noble family, with grandparents, parents, teenagers and children, along with court jesters and jugglers.  At night on the first day, a 4-act play (ludi) culminating in a wedding was enacted on the piazza.  The festival continued for three days, with medieval craftsmen and food vendors selling their wares along the cobblestone streets.  On the last day, the town simulated the burning of the Castello di Formigine and though we didn’t get to see it, we heard they put on a spectacular fireworks show.

Throughout the day, the atmosphere was light-hearted and fun with plenty of good-natured rivalry.

I had a great time capturing snapshots of the people here.  Their faces were so expressive that I wanted to record their images to share with you just how beautiful they are.