Giochi de le Porte
Wed Jun 2014
The Giochi de le Porte is a colourful, ancient tradition that takes place every year in the little town of Gualdo Tadino, a town full of character lying in the Umbrian hills.
For three days over the last weekend of September the whole town is transported back in time when the local inhabitants dress in medieval costume, bang drums, throw flags and generally enjoy a bit of feasting and frivolity. Four teams, representing the four gates of the city, compete in games such as archery and slingshot, but the festivities culminate in the Palio. Perhaps not quite as elegant as the Siena version, this race involves hurtling around an 800m circuit with donkeys and carts! But, as in Siena, the donkey that passes the finishing line first is the winner - even if the rider is somewhere near the start sitting in the sand! And the hotly contested prize? The right to light the bonfire that sets fire to the effigy of the Bastula, or the witch that is blamed for bringing all sorts of ill to the town.
Stay in the Borgo Sant’Angelo for the Giochi de le Porte. The hotel is run by the charming mother and daughter team of Donatella and Eleonora who are hugely enthusiatic about their town and its traditions. This little hotel is in the heart of the town and has been beautifully restored with comfortable rooms and modern bathrooms. Breakfast is taken in the main hotel whereas dinner is taken in a nearby restaurant, Hosteria da Baccus, that offers lots of wonderful local specialities.
Prices from £645 based on 25th September 2014 for 7 nights half board in a Standard twin room based on half board, flights from LGW to Rome with British Airways and car hire.