The traditional "Ferie delle Messi" in San Gimignano is a famous medieval festival held every year on the third weekend of June. It is the Harvest Feast dating back to the Middles Ages, when the entire city celebrated the harvest with music, dances and jousters for a few days. And nowadays it aims to recreate the medieval atmosphere with figures in costumes and knights. The large and colorful costume parade is the main attraction of the event together with the Jouster of the Bastioni. There is also a large medieval market, musicians and dancers, jugglers and other street artists.
The Fiera delle Messi is organized by the Cavalieri di Santa Fina, important association aiming to enhance the glorious past of San Gimignano. The name comes from the holy Fina dei Ciardi, patron of the city.
The event is divided into three days:
- Friday evening
- Saturday afternoon
- Sunday for the entire day
The medieval festival starts on Friday when takes place the festival opening with medieval dances, together with the drums and knights exhibits. The show starts in Piazza Duomo at 9.30pm and goes on until 11pm.
On Saturday in the Rocca di Montestaffoli from 4pm there is a military camp. At 4.30pm the large and colorful costume parade arrives in Piazza Duomo playing the love of ladies and knights in the Middle Ages. Then several attractions and other events take place around the streets of San Gimignano ending with music and dancings in Piazza Duomo.
On Sunday the festival starts at 11am. In Piazza delle Erbe there is the medieval market, at Rooca di Montestaffoli the military camp, music and dancings in Piazza Duomo and other events all around the streets. At 4.50pm the flag-throwers show, preceding the costume parade and the jouster. The parade has more than 500 figures dressed in stunning handmade costumes. Then at 7pm there is the Jouster of Bastioni, when the borough’s knights challenge each to wine the gold blade. The festival ends around 7.30 with a large circle dancing made by the costume figures and visitors.