But certainly the one that is more in the heart of Pisans is the GIOCO DEL PONTE. It is a curious game between two teams which means that the city is divided in two rival parts: Tramontana and Mezzogiorno.
The game consists in two different parts. First, there is a parade along the river simulating a military procession. Then, there is a battle that takes place in the Ponte di Mezzo. During this battle both teams must give proof of their physical strength, reason why there is a hypotheses that this game has its origins on the Classical Antiquity.
The first known edition of the Gioco del Ponte more or less as it is now comes from the 1568. Ponte del Mezzo is the seat of the battle and the aim is to conquer a part or the entire half of the bridge occupied by the “enemies”. There are actually many teams of 20 men representing each faction, Tramontana and Mezzogiorno, and they fight in turn.
The fighting is represented by a cart in the middle of the bridge that must be pushed from both sides, till all the opponents are moved back to the end of the sliding rail. The winner is the faction that conquers more number of matches. It is interesting to observe that the cart didn’t exist before 1935, when the pushing was made with physical contact.
Because of the violence of this game, it has been interrupted for many years. After the Second World War, the game has been reorganized configuring the present event. Traditionally, it takes place on the last Sunday of June, every year.
VISIT OUR VILLAS CLOSE TO PISA:
Antico FornoVilla Rosoli
Villa Bella Camilla
Villa di Celli
Villa del Ermo