fbpixel
Private Villa Rentals
Attentive Concierge Service, Trusted Experience

The Festival of the Ceri and the
Crossbow Competition in Gubbio, Umbria

The Ceri race in Gubbio, Umbria, Italy

The city of Gubbio in May is a hub of Italian folklore marked by two events of particular historical and cultural significance dating back to the 12th century—the Festival of the Ceri (Festa dei Ceri) and the Crossbow Competition (Palio della Balestra).

The ceri are three 20-foot, 880-pound "candles" fabricated of wood and carried by chosen Eugubini called ceraiole in a formal reenactment of a mystical candle-bearing procession honoring Gubbio's patron, Bishop Ubaldo Baldassini, who died in 1160. On the one hand it is a solemn act of devotion, while on the other it is colorful and festive, with literally thousands of Gubbio residents leading the parade of ceri through the town’s streets before what amounts to a race up the steep slopes of Monte Ingino to the Basilica of St. Ubaldo. The date of the event, May 15, commemorates the eve of the day of mourning for the beloved father figure Sant’Ubaldo. All of Gubbio turns out to engage in the procession, waving emblematic banners while charging through town.

The Crossbow competition in Gubbio, Umbria, Italy

On the last Sunday in May, the Piazza Grande in Gubbio comes alive with a medieval crossbow competition between Eugubian balestrieri, or crossbow competitors, and their counterparts from the town of Sansepolcro in Tuscany. Antique period dress adorns participants, judges and spectators alike as the city transforms itself into an authentic relic of the Middle Ages. Like the Festa dei Ceri, the Palio della Balestra has developed a profound attachment to the soul of Gubbio.

Both events are open to spectators. For information call 075 9220693. On the Internet visit www.bellaumbria.net or www.gubbio.com.

Browse All Umbria Villas


Browse Umbria Travel Articles

Our Staff Recommends

Browse All Umbria Villas

Featured Umbria Villa Rentals

WIMCO Villas,  Italy Vacation rentals BRV BAN, Italy, Umbria Vacation home rentals, Umbria Villas

BRV BAN

Stone farmhouse, extensive views of countryside, unique winter garden, fenced pool and large patio

7 br / 7 ba

WIMCO Villas,  Italy Vacation rentals HII TOR, Italy, Umbria Vacation home rentals, Umbria Villas

HII TOR

Sits on ruins of a watchtower, elegantly designed, pool and large portico with spectacular views

5 br / 5.5 ba

WIMCO Villas,  Italy Vacation rentals HII CFG, Italy, Umbria Vacation home rentals, Umbria Villas

HII CFG

Spectacular views of countryside, tranquil sunsets, original church walls, private chapel on estate

8 br / 9 ba

WIMCO Villas,  Italy Vacation rentals HII IPC, Italy, Umbria Vacation home rentals, Umbria Villas

HII IPC

Tastefully furnished, spacious lounge, large swimming pool, close to horseback riding and golfing

9 br / 8 ba

Browse All Umbria Hotels

Featured Umbria Hotels and Resorts

WIMCO Villas and Hotels, Relais Ducale, Umbria Resorts. Book now with WIMCO

Relais Ducale

Situated in the historic heart of the Gubbio, Relais Ducale unites some of the most significant architectural features of the Italian Middle Ages and Renaissance. The rooms and suites have antique furnishings and verandas.

Umbria

WIMCO Villas and Hotels, Hotel San Luca, Umbria Resorts. Book now with WIMCO

Hotel San Luca

Hotel San Luca is a small, charming hotel run by the Zuccari family in Spoleto, Umbria. Elegant and sophisticated, it features a warm and familiar atmosphere. Rooms are spacious, colorful and extremely clean.

Umbria

Back to Top