Celebrating June in Pisa – Gioco del Ponte

A little outdated maybe, but this post is about the conclusion of Giugno Pisana celebration.

The Game of the Bridge is a battle of strength between Pisa’s Northern and Southern districts. Traditionally the two halves of the city, which are separated by the Arno River, are called Tramontana and Mezzogiorno. The Gioco del Ponte takes place on the Ponte di Mezzo (the middle bridge) on the last sunday of June, and it marks the end of the Giugno Pisano celebration.

The Gioco del Ponte dates back to the medieval war games. First there is a colorful parade of military costumes from the Middle Ages, which perfectly match the typical Medieval architecture of Pisa… The game itself consists in pushing, with necks and shoulders, a 7 ton-structure, and whoever pushes the big cart towards the opposite side wins the match. Not that once is enough, no, the winner must have the best score out of six (or this year seven) attempts.

Here are my impressions from this event, captured with a small Panasonic videocamera. Enjoy!

[youtube_sc url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAsryzvGrGs&feature=g-upl]

I don´t think the results of the games are so important, but I might be a little naive here… When we called it a night the Southerners had a solid lead (the score was 3-1 in favor of Mezzogiorno, which we were pleased about, since we live on the South side of the river…), but we learned later that the Northerners won the match 4-3!

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