During the month of August the historic center of Anagni goes back over the centuries for medieval feasts and games. The Palio di Santa Chiara is an archery contest that takes place in the unique setting of Piazza Innocenzo III, the square under the Cathedral.
The demonstrations begin in the afternoon with the parade of the historical parade in medieval clothes. Obviously Anagni has chosen to return to the period of its maximum splendor that corresponds to the end of 1200 that is to the period of Boniface VIII.
Recall that the slap of Anagni was given on September 8, 1303 and that after this episode the world will no longer be the same and the papacy for a few years will suffer the French interference and will settle in Avignon.
Over 250 figures followed by flag-wavers and tambourines, and of course by archers, will cross the historic center of Anagni to get to the boxes of Piazza Innocenzo III. Here the flag bearers will entertain the parade and the participants with their demonstrations of dexterity.
Once in the square, the draw takes place to match the archers with the districts and the names are placed in a ‘compass’ from which they will be extracted: 8 archers representing the 8 districts compete in a contest of dexterity. The 8 districts are those of Castello, Cellere, Colle S. Angelo, Tufano, Torre, Trivio, Tufoli and Valle.
The contest is disputed with medieval arches, faithful historical reconstructions of the arches of time, which must hit different targets placed at variable distances around 20-25 meters. The winner is awarded the palio, a cloth that every year is painted by an established artist.
The palio is dedicated to Santa Chiara, the saint of Assisi much loved by the Italians who had shared her choices with Saint Francis, who died on 11 August 1253 and canonized in Anagni in 1255 by Pope Alexander IV.
The event is curated by the Aiam-Associazione Interparrocchiale Anagni Medievale association.