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.
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.
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.
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
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Read about Calendimaggio preparations, usually with Gina…