16 June 1450. A manuscript on parchment conserved in the city archive testifies that on this date the Farfa Abbot of Santa Vittoria in Matenano donates to the community of Servigliano the Level of San Gualtiero, where the present town is located.
To celebrate the moment, as the same manuscript reports, popular games are announced. Since 1968 this historical moment has been revived on the third week of August with the “Torneo Cavalleresco of Castel Clementino”, representation with costumes of the 15th century.
The “Ideal City” was designed in 1771 on the same Level of San Gualtiero by the pontifical architect Virginio Bracci on assignment of Pope Clemente XIV and now, for ten days, it comes back to life with magical medieval atmospheres made of suits and gowns, torches and banquets.
The significant moment of the event begins on Saturday night, when thousands blazing torches on walls, arches and doors compose the frame for a gorgeous parade of medieval figures. Surrounded by rolling drums, twirling flags and ringing clarions, more than 300 participants in Pre Renaissance clothing liven up the square in front of the Church of San Marco, presenting an evocative representation of medieval life.
The wonderful gowns and suits with their delicately stitched embroidery crafted by the tailors of each Rione are faithful reproductions of works of art made by master painters as Ghirlandaio, Crivelli, Pisanello and many other international painters.
Nothing is left to chance: the meticulous attention to the details of every single costume, the research on the hairstyle and the decorative motifs make the celebration of Servigliano so extraordinary and faithful to history.
The peculiar square shape of Piazza Roma marks the division of the five Rioni that face each other with lively debates during the ten days of the torneo: Porta Santo Spirito (colours yellow and red, symbol “The eagle”), Porta Navarra (colours white and blue, symbol “The lily”), Porta Marina (colours red, white and blue, symbol “The owl”), Paese Vecchio (colours yellow and green, symbol “The castle on the hill”). This last rione is now the town suburb of Curetta and the place where, since the year 1000, the Castle of Sorbelliano was located and is considered now as the first settlement of Servigliano. Finally, the rione of San Marco (colours yellow and blue) symbolizes the municipality itself.
As apex of the event and long-awaited from the ardent participants there is the Ring Joust on Sunday afternoon: the whole parade moves to the tournament field where the knights of each rione endeavour to win a finely painted drape as reward. The champions challenge to a race on an “eight-pattern” field and in four rounds, where they have to hit the centre by threading the twelve rings, four for each knight, of smaller dimensions at each round.
The powerful sound of the hoofs, the honour of the victory and the attachment to one’s own colours make the competition especially intense and filled with suspense.
Holding one’s breath until the very last ring, the ten days of celebrations, when the entire community participates with fervour, come to an end.
It is an event which has become a fully-fledged part of the tradition of this territory so much that it has been nicknamed “Quintana”.
This and much more is the “Torneo Cavalleresco of Castel Clementino”.