The 52nd Festival of Barbarossa in San Quirico d’Orcia

San Quirico d’Orcia, an ancient village in Val d’Orcia, a wide valley located south of Siena, celebrates its 52nd Festival of Barbarossa.

The event relates to the Medieval history of the village, in fact, this festival wants to remind the most important meeting in the history of San Quirico, that dates back to 1155 among Frederick I Hoenstaufen, known as Barbarossa – red beard in Italian – and the Cardinals sent by Pope Adrian IV.

The meeting in the beatiful Tuscan village confirmed the Church approval to the coronation  of Frederick Barbarossa as Holy Roman Emperor.

Since 1962, every year on the third Sunday in June, San Quirico d’Orcia celebrates the historical event commemorating the character of Frederick Barbarossa.

The old town centre is divided into the four original quarters following the old medieval names: Borgo, Canneti, Castello and Prato. Each of them is characterized by specific colours, for example, Borgo’s are black and white, Canneti’s blue and white, Castello’s red and white and Prato’s green and white.

The festival sees the medieval village coming back  from Middle Ages: a typical setting of past times is recreated in some of the most suggestive corners of the old town centre.

The historical event will be brought back to life by some actors who will play the role of the main characters, like the Emperor Barbarossa, the Pope, the civil and religious authorities at the time, the nobility, the population and the troops.

This year the festival is from the 13rd to the 17th June, for a rich in performances week, that wants to celebrate the medieval past of the village.

The festival programme schedules the historical parade through the streets of the centre, flag and archery competitions and much more.

During the festival days, the four quarters defy each other in spectacular challenges between flag throwers and archers for the conquest of the striving “Emperor’s Cup”.

You can also enjoy old medieval food in the quarters’ taverns, where flag throwers and musicians attract the visitors’ attention with extraordinary performances in the squares.

Don’t miss the chance to live the medieval atmosphere of the Festival of Barbarossa and, most of all, you just can’t miss visiting the suggestive Val d’Orcia with its breathtaking landscape, that is in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

If you would like to visit Val d’Orcia and the village of San Quirico d’Orcia and have more detailed information about them, please visit now the online tourist guide About Siena.


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