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Battaglia di Scannagallo
WHERE: Pozzo della Chiana; between Arezzo and Siena.
WHEN: Every year in May, the event takes place during one weekend (Saturday and Sunday). The dates vary each year, to find out the actual dates visit the Official Website.
The original battle took place at the area called Marciano – Scannagallo, a territory between Arezzo and Siena which belongs to the Republic of Siena. Siena and Florence have been in war for their supremacy in Tuscany. At that time there was no Tuscany region as a single territory like today but each city was independent, some of them were Republics and others where Duchies. The culmination episode was the day of August 2nd 1554, when the battle of Scannagallo has happened on the open field. But actually a sequence of events have resulted in this battle which signed the configuration of Tuscany as a Grand Duchy after Florence finally conquered Siena. Piero Strozzi, the commander of the Siennese troops have raid towards the Valdichiana territory, supported by a French and Swiss army. They fought against the Imperial Army of Charles V, who was supporting the Florentine army.
The strategy of Gian Giacomo dei Medici, marquis of Marignano, commander of the Florentine troops, was to encircle the Siennese army from three sides. One coming from the coast, from Pisa and Livorno, a second one from the South, based on Montepulciano and the larger one with himself on command, coming from Florence, based at Poggibonsi.
The region of Scannagallo was the turning point of the whole conflict. The war has been too much bloody, and involved not only the armies but destroyed many houses and killed a lot of citizens of Marciano, Lucignano and Foiano della Chiana. The whole conflict at Scannagallo lasted for more than one month until when Piero Strozzi’s troops, badly supplied, have been surrounded by the Florentine reinforcements. On August 2nd he simulated a retread, but eventually he needed to accept a battle at “Pozzo delle Donne”, near the town “Villa del Pozzo”. All soldiers entered the field, the Siennese supported by the Swiss infantrymen, the Gasconades, the Spaniards while the Florentines were helped by the Imperial Army.
With a heavy cavalry, Florence won after two hours of a cruel fight. This victory has given access to the Florentines to reach Siena and besiege it. The war against Siena lasted until April 1555 when it surrendered and passed under the Medici control. The domination over the whole Tuscany on the hands of the family Medici was accomplished and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was created.
The event recalls this battle happened at Scannagallo in each single detail. It is the commemoration of the birth of Tuscany the way it is composed now. On Saturday at 5 pm the show begins, with the opening of the Field of Mercenaries and the drilling of the characters. At 9.30 pm starts the presentation “Virgola lo giullare”. Virgola is a character, the court minstrel, who relates about his journeys and vicissitudes, with participation of the public. At 10 pm starts the night attack to the mercenary camp. At 10.30 happens the “Palio del bastone”, the Revenge.
The mercenaries’ camp is set with 30 encampments, 11 historic groups coming from the whole Italy, a historic Parade and the Renaissance street market are organized. The camp battle is played in very realistic way with pikers, archers and artillerymen. The “Palio del Bastone” represents the battle in which both companies must fight until the last man stands.
On Sunday, before the “battle” it is possible to visit the Renaissance market, where all local people are dressed like noble families, minstrels, flag-wavers and much more. They play the scene when the original market has been sacked by the Lansquenetes, prelude of the battle. The pike formations, the sword collisions and the harquebus, mortars and falconet’s fire shots are played in a very realistic way, even the smoke is expelled. The audience is completely immersed into the battle experience, till the end of the show.
If you want to experience a day of medieval street live, colourful historic costumes and improvised popular theatre in an authentic location come and join the Scannagallo festival.
For more info visit:
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Or call: (0039) 3351440535