Ferie Messium – Medieval Festival
Held the third weekend in June each year in the ancient town San Gimignano, Italy,
The town evokes it’s past when celebrating the Medieval Festival here in the heart of Tuscany.
About the festival
In 1993 a local association decided to hold a festival to help revive the ancient town of San Gimigano.
It’s now an annual feast celebrated by the entire population.
For authenticity the organisers adhere as closely as possible to historical traditions.
Highlights of the festival include the grand parade, where the traditions on display are symbolic of the relationship between the earth and its fertility.
So also the Tug of War race for the men and the Race of the Braid for women.
Horses play a significant role in the festivities with the horse races and the subsequent blessing of the horses of the four districts being a focal part of the Festival.
Birds of prey demonstrations and a medieval market round out the festival offerings.
More about San Gimignano
A hilltop town in delightful Tuscany, San Gimignano possibly dates as far back as 63 B.C.
It has a long, complex and fascinating history.
Today it attracts millions of visitors annually as they come to soak up the medieval atmosphere and view the wonderfully preserved buildings of this UNESCO registered World Cultural Heritage site.
Want to know more about what to see and do in San Gimignano?
Then see our San Gimignano page.
Where to stay and hotel tips
There are many good hotels, villas, guest houses and Bed and Breakfast possibilities within the heart of San Gimignano. .
There are even over 200 lodging options in the immediate area around San Gimignano.
Depending on what you look for in accommodation you should be able to find something to suit your tastes.
Book well in advance for June, July, and August.
Many accommodations are fully booked already a year in advance.
Relais Cappuccina is a great four star hotel and offers wonderful views of the town.
If you prefer to check out some of the local heritage: Hotel La Collegiata is a 16th century former Franciscan convent.
It is situated a few kilometres outside the town, charming and has a beautiful pool area.
If you want a special experience in middle of town you should stay in the Al Pozzo dei Desideri.
You have to walk from the parking lot 10-15 minutes away, but in return you get a romantic night in a 12th-century building at the main square of San Gimignano.
Its rooms overlook either the city’s historical centre or the Tuscan countryside
How to get there
If flying to Italy, then Pisa or Florence are the closest airports near San Gimignano.
From there you can connect via train or bus.
There is no train station in San Gimignano, the nearest one is in Poggibonsi.
So take the train to Poggibonsi, from there take the local bus to San Gimignano.
There are also bus and train services operating from Rome.