On the third weekend in June, San Quirico d’Orcia has celebrated the passing of Frederick I Hohenstaufen since 1962 with the
Feast of Barbarossa
. A historical episode of such great importance – which took place in the year 1155 – had to be remembered with a truly important event.
The historic center was then divided into the four Districts originated from the logic of medieval toponymy: the Borgo District, black and white; the Canneti District, white and blue; the Castello District, white and red; and the Prato District, white and green.
The event immediately took on the connotations of the most important event in the daily life of the Sanquirichesi, involving the Val d’Orcia town in a wave of passion. A celebration made by the people that changed the customs of those years.
Suggestive and symbolic is the re-enactment, a theatrical reconstruction set in the most significant corners of the historic center, the churchyard of the Collegiate Church, the squares and main streets. The protagonists bring to life the meeting between Emperor Barbarossa and the Cardinals, the civil and religious authorities of San Quirico at the time, the nobles, the people, and the armies.
In parallel, the town comes alive all year round with the neighborhoods, which, for the Feast of Barbarossa, compete in spectacular challenges between archers (in the first two editions this was the only tussle) and standard bearers to win the Emperor’s Pitchers.
Barbarossa is also a festival of flavors, with neighborhood taverns serving dishes with delicious traditional recipes and the best wines from the Valdorcian hills, in a medieval atmosphere, with street performances of a bygone era.