Camerino - "Corsa alla Spada" and Palio

The Corsa alla Spada (Race to the Sword) is an ancient Renaissance tradition held on the feast day of the town’s patron saint, the martyr San Venanzio. According to some legal instruments dating back to 1220 this race is the only one carried out on foot. The Terzieri (Muralto, Di Mezzo and Sossalta) that divide the city take part with 10 athletes each which, running a distance of about 1,300 meters through the historic centre, vie for the sword hoisted on the corner of the church of Santa Maria in Via, the symbol par excellence of chivalry and of the great soldiers of fortune as the Da Varano, awarded to the winner, and the Palio in red velvet, bestowed upon the strongest team. "Three Terzieri, a city. Three spirits, a feast. All linked by a fierce rivalry, but one would not make sense without the other " ... the spirit of competition is summed up in this sentence.
In the afternoon of the race it winds through the main streets of the city the magnificent procession of the Palio, with over 500 people including flag weavers, riders and horses, the Duke and the Duchess with an escort of soldiers, archers, ladies, the music of the drums and the color of the Peasants. On the eve of the Patron feast, separate processions, in gorgeous costumes, by torchlight and with flags, trumpets and drums, cross the streets of the medieval centre and come to the Basilica of San Venanzio, location of the ceremony of the Offer of the Candles. Afterwards, in the opposite square, is the reading of the proclaim of the Race to the Sword and Palio and the lighting of the Focaraccio, accompanied by the the sound of trumpets and the roll of drums.
During the Renaissance there were four different Games: a horse race that is still called "Le Mosse", the Race to the Sword, a second race with a horse and finally a public demonstration with which local nobles showed off their skills with weapons. The games have been interrupted after the Unification of Italy and until 1982, which is the year of the historical reenactment that leads to the Offer of the Candles and the Race to the Sword. Every May since then, the city begins its journey back in time in a succession of rites and ceremonies; the Offer of the Candle, the lighting of the propitiatory big Focaraccio, the Race to the Sword, the Palio of the Archers, and also performances of early music, the opening of taverns in the most picturesque corners of the old town and then conferences, exhibitions, tastings, entertainment for children...
On these magical days, rich in fervour, appointments and entertainment, Camerino and its territory are stormed by thousands of tourists


The Attractions of Camerino

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Camerino things to Watch

Discover the attraction Camerino - Art Gallery and Civic Museum

Camerino - Art Gallery and Civic Museum

The Art Gallery and Civic Museum has work by local painters from the XIV-XVI centuries, resulting from the confiscation of religious goods. The picture gallery...

Discover the attraction Camerino - St. Camilla Battista da Varano

Camerino - St. Camilla Battista da Varano

THE LIFE: Daughter of Prince Giulio Cesare Da Varano, Lord of Camerino, and of the noblewoman Cecchina ...

Discover the attraction Camerino- Monastery of Santa Chiara

Camerino- Monastery of Santa Chiara

The Monastery of Santa Chiara is one the oldest religious sites of Camerino: it dates back to the second half of the 14th century. It was built under the...

Discover the attraction Temple of the Annunciation

Temple of the Annunciation

Another example of religious architecture established by Giulio Cesare Varano is the Temple of the Annunciation, built between 1493 and 1508 on...

Discover the attraction Camerino- The Valentiniana Library

Camerino- The Valentiniana Library

The Valentiniana Library  was founded in Camerino in 1802 due to the bequest of a nobleman from Camerino, Sebastiano Valentini, who was also a poet and a...

Discover the attraction Camerino - Cathedral of SS. Annunziata

Camerino - Cathedral of SS. Annunziata

The Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Camerino - San Severino Marche, dedicated to the Santissima Annunziata (Most Holy Annunciation), is the result of...