Posted by: debrakolkka | November 2, 2011

Who won the archery competition?

Even though the Sagra del Tordo ( Festival of the Thrush) is only 54 years old, it is similar to hunting festivals that were held much earlier in the town of Montalcino. In the middle ages hunters and falconers would hunt in the woods, bring back their prey and celebrate with banquets for the whole town. No doubt the archery competitions were held to help hone the skills of the archers.

The first day of the festival begins early on Saturday morning when young dancers in costumes from the 1800s perform in the main square.

dancing opens the festivities

A procession follows and the very important job of selecting the archers takes place. The names of 3 archers from each of the 4 quartiere are placed in a barrel and 2 are drawn out. These 2 will represent their areas in the competition.

the barrel is brought in

the town crier arrives

the ballot begins

the tension mounts

everyone waits

love the shoes

this one seems to have his own smurf

The names of the archers are announced and the bands play.

the horns play

Later in the day everyone gathers in the square for the parade to the tournament ground.

everyone joins in

the parade heads to the tournament grounds

a handsome knight

one of the archers

children join in as well

Fortunately the weather is perfect and the tournament ground looks wonderful.

the beautiful grounds under the fortezza

The arrows are checked and weighed.

getting ready

The targets are set.

the targets

Then the first round begins. Each archer has five arrows and there is a limited time in which to shoot them.

the arrows fly

the arrows hit their target

the score is given

This is repeated 4 times each time at a greater distance from the target.

the archers move further away from the target

Who won? Pianello won, but this is just the first round, the big one is the next day. Pianello just happens to be the team my friends support and we attended to dinner for the quartiere on Saturday night. As you can imagine, everyone was very happy and excited and looking forward to the big day.  Stay tuned.


  1. Thanks for all the photos. Beautifully done and presented. I love the costumes, in excellent taste and with much detail. Worth keeping in mind to attend in the future.

    • It is a wonderful event. Montalcino is a beautiful place to visit at any time, but this festival is really special. I’m going back next year for sure.

  2. I’m with you here. The red shoes are amazing. The leather looks so soft.

    How fascinating.


    • The parade and costumes on the second day were even better.

  3. Wow! What a festival! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  4. How my Mr Chocolate would love to go to something like this. He loves is archery.

  5. I can’t leave a sensible reply to this! I want to compliment your great photos and I love the amazing costumes of course, but I can’t focus on these yet as I’m still laughing too much about his ‘smurf’!

    • I thought it was a strange addition to the costume.

  6. Wow, they really do things properly with all of the details don’t they?

    • This is one of the best festivals I have seen in Italy. Iloved it

  7. Seems that it was a great fun to be there… How beautiful their customes… Especially the red boots… I loved them all. You did a wonderful set, Thank you dear Debra, with my love, nia

    • It was a fun event. The costumes the next day were even better.

  8. Great post Debra, and, as always, you manage to find some eye candy for us all to look at!

    • It wasn’t difficult to find good looking people at the festival. I thought they all looked wonderful in their costumes.

  9. […] here for more on Montalcino and here annd here for the wonderful archery competition held as part of the Festival of the Thrush. […]

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