Summer 2016 in Massa Marittima: the second sunday in august in the attempt to recall the ancient tradition of the exercise of the crossbow, in Massa Marittima
every year it's organised a competition between the Terzieri called "Balestro del Girifalco".
This contest is staged twice a year: on the 4th Sunday of May and on the 2nd Sunday of August.
The contest is opened with apageant, featuring over 150 partecipants, all dressed in reproduced medieval clothes. 24 crossbowmen partecipate into the contest, 8 archers for each of the 3 quarters called Terzieri (Cittanuova, Cittavecchia e Borgo) in which is divided Massa Marittima since 1225, the date of its constitution as a Free City.
The arrows are shot with old italian style crossbows, accurate copies of their 15th century ancestors. After having loaded his weapon with the "Girello" or "Martinetto", the marksman takes his place on the bench and aims at the target called "corniolo", which is placed 36 meters away.
The Corniolo is a conical shaped piece of wood, 42cm in height, with a diameter of 13cm and with its smaller end fitted to a black painted disc of 45cm in diameter. The whole assembly is attached in the center of the large "Girifalco".
The winner is the crossbowman whose arrow hits the target nearest to the center. He is rewarded with a symbolic golden arrow and his Terziere will receive the large painted silk banner.
For information: Società dei Terzieri Massetani e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone +39 0566 903908