Soriano Chestnut Festival
by Shania Schmidt
During the month of October, the quaint town of Soriano is transformed into a medieval village for the annual chestnut festival. On the first Sunday of this festival, one can go to a jousting and archery tournament (for only 4 euros). This tournament takes place in a wide field on the edge of Soriano. There are four teams that compete in honor of the four neighborhoods of Soriano; Rocca, Papacqua, Trinità, and San Giorgio. Each team completes three heats of each event. The first event is archery, four men stand in the middle of the field and shoot at a bullseye. For this event, I would recommend bringing binoculars for it was hard to see the arrow. The second event was the jousting. Each team had one representative. They came out on their horses, one by one, and tried to get their lance into one of the three different sized circles all hanging eye level. Each set of circles were positioned in different parts of the narrow and winding track. Once the three heats were over, the points were added up and the winner was honored with a parade that ran through the center of Soriano.
If you miss the first weekend of the festival; have no fear! There is a second medieval parade the second weekend and a medieval themed market the third weekend. Regardless of the time, you can always enjoy free roasted chestnuts and typical, local food served in festive caves. This October is special because it is the 50th annual festival. So, head down this year if you can make it, but if not I’m sure the 51st chestnut festival will be just as impressive with just as many delicious chestnuts to enjoy.