Anne's Blog

Calendimaggio Fever

Date: April 29, 2015 - categories: , , - 2 Comments

You know our early May medieval festival, Calendimaggio, is around the corner if you walk the stunning backstreets the end of April: those banners are flying. Blue ones in la Parte de Sopra (“Upper Assisi”) and red ones drape windows, terraces on the home of la Parte de Sotto (“Lower Assisi”).

Calendimaggio is around the corner: the banners are the sign.






Calendimaggio fever” sweeps through Assisi as “the locals” gather in the vaulted medieval taverna for good food while debating who’ll win the palio (victory banner) this year, Sopra or Sotto.

Porchetta sandwiches for sale in the medieval taverna

Porchetta sandwiches for sale in the medieval taverna

La Taverna

La Taverna

the taverna, the two Parti gather to eat, debate winners

the taverna, the two Parti gather to eat, debate winners




Euphoric groups of young partaioli take breaks from work on this four-day medieval festival every evening in the main piazza, joining in song and dance, dragging in even surprised tourists.









During late April evenings, Assisi’s stunning medieval backstreets become the stage for choral groups in costume singing medieval serenades.


And you know Calendimaggio is around the corner if you wander into Piazza Santa Chiara where crossbowers are competing: the best will represent their Parti in the festival.

William with his crossbow, ready to shoot

William with his crossbow, ready to shoot

Getting set to fire

Getting set to fire

Serenades of medieval music in the backstreets at night are yet another sign of festival anticipation. And this year on a late April Sunday, I headed up to the medieval church of San Vitale – tucked away in the backstreets of la parte de Sopra – to join other Sopra supporters gathered there to hear our choir sing swatches of the medieval songs they’ll perform on the final festival night’s musical competition.

Entrance to San Vitale

Entrance to San Vitale

The choir of Sopra warms up in the San Vitale church

The choir of Sopra warms up in the San Vitale church

View from San Vitale garden

View from San Vitale garden

Sopra partaiaoli gather to support their chorus:








All gathered to chat as we awaited the arrival of the priest: his blessing on the choir would be auspicious. We hope.


Viva la Parte de Sopra!

Read – and see! – euphoric medieval passione in Assisi during Calendimaggio
Click here to read all about Calendimaggio
Click here to read about the Assisi crossbow passion
Read about another sign that Calendimaggio is coming up
Click here to see – and FEEL! – Calendimaggio splendor
Click to read about Assisi’s stunning medieval festival, Calendimaggio
Read about the passione lived during Calendimaggio – and not only.
Click here to read about – and see – the “blessed” beginning of Calendimaggio
Find out the signs that Calendimaggio is “just around the corner”
Read about an early May Umbrian festival not to miss
Click here to read about passione in Umbria’s astounding May festivals
Read about Calendimaggio preparations, usually with Gina…


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