Even though the Sagra del Tordo ( Festival of the Thrush) is only 54 years old, it is similar to hunting festivals that were held much earlier in the town of Montalcino. In the middle ages hunters and falconers would hunt in the woods, bring back their prey and celebrate with banquets for the whole town. No doubt the archery competitions were held to help hone the skills of the archers.
The first day of the festival begins early on Saturday morning when young dancers in costumes from the 1800s perform in the main square.
A procession follows and the very important job of selecting the archers takes place. The names of 3 archers from each of the 4 quartiere are placed in a barrel and 2 are drawn out. These 2 will represent their areas in the competition.
The names of the archers are announced and the bands play.
Later in the day everyone gathers in the square for the parade to the tournament ground.
Fortunately the weather is perfect and the tournament ground looks wonderful.
The arrows are checked and weighed.
The targets are set.
Then the first round begins. Each archer has five arrows and there is a limited time in which to shoot them.
This is repeated 4 times each time at a greater distance from the target.
Who won? Pianello won, but this is just the first round, the big one is the next day. Pianello just happens to be the team my friends support and we attended to dinner for the quartiere on Saturday night. As you can imagine, everyone was very happy and excited and looking forward to the big day. Stay tuned.