Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 12, 2014

The race of the candles in Gubbio

Gubbio’s Corsa dei Ceri, the Race of the Candles, is held every year on 15th May…you still have time to get there. It is probably one of the most amazing events you will ever see. The origins of the festival date back to the middle of the 12th century.

The name is a bit misleading since the Ceri are not candles at all, but 3 huge wooden constructions about 7 metres tall. They are octagonal in shape and are fixed to a wooden base born on the shoulders of the Ceraioli, the carriers.

Three teams will carry, while running, the Ceri, with statues of either St Ubaldo, St Giorgio or St Anthony fixed to the top, from the lower area of Gubbio all the way to the top of Mount Ingino behind the town…I told you it was amazing.







We went last year and had a great time. Click here to see the detailed post I wrote about the weird and wonderful race of the candles.

Gubbio is a great town in Umbria to visit anyway, but the Corsa dei Ceri is something you should see at least once in your life.


  1. That looks like a fun and fascinating event. Missed your post last year, as we were moving around this time.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • It was great fun. I would love to go again one year.

  2. I remember seeing some scenes of this event in the opening credits of Don Matteo which apparently was shot in Gubbio. I always marvelled at the size of the objects they were raising and wondered what they were. You have cleared that up for me- another amazing place to visit in Italy!

    • Gubbio is a great place to visit anyway, but the race is really something to see.

  3. Thanks that was a real education – would enjoy seeing that one day.

    • You should go before occupational health and safety stops stuff like this.

  4. I hope to be in Florence for a few months next year, I’d better think about getting to Gubbio for this event. Thank you, Debra.

    • It is an amazing thing to see. Go a day ahead and get the lay of the land.

  5. They carry those while running uphill? Impressive!

  6. Looks like a fabulous event….maybe next year!

  7. great event to capture, I have been in Gubio some centuries ago…LOL

  8. Having been in Gubbio a few years ago during the running of this event – can attest to the fact that it’s an amazing spectacle!

  9. What fun!!

  10. I recall this from the past. Probably quite the drive for you, but worth it.

    • Gubbio was about 4 hours away from Bagni di Lucca, but well worth it.

  11. What a fun event, Debra. It must be amazing to watch everyone running with these huge constructions. I suppose the ones at the front get pushed along by the momentum of the crowd behind. 🙂

    • It is one of the most ridiculous and fascinating events I have ever seen. I will go back one year and do it all again.

  12. WOW! A crowded event I always want to attend to. I would have no problem wrestling with that crowd just to get in on the actions. 😀

  13. […] The race of the candles in Gubbio […]

  14. Great photos, Debra. Unfortunately, we missed it this year…

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