Saracen Joust - Our Lady of Comfort

Giostra del Saracino – Giostra della Madonna del Conforto

Local Tradition


  • Ancient medieval jousting tournament
  • Held twice a year in Arezzo
  • Evening event in June, daytime event in September
  • Sister event: Giostra di San Donato (penultimate Saturday of June)
Off Trail
Piazza Grande
Piazza Grande, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy

Occurs annually, First Sunday in September

Admission Fees:



The Giostra del Saracino – Giostra della Madonna del Conforto is an ancient medieval jousting tournament held twice a year in the historic Piazza Grande of Arezzo, Italy.

This exciting event takes place on the first Sunday of September and features the four city Quarters of Arezzo – Porta Crucifera, Porta del Foro, Porta Sant’Andrea, and Porta Santo Spirito – competing against each other.

Each Quarter is represented by two knights who gallop towards the Buratto, a revolving armor-plated dummy, attempting to hit its target with a lance. The pair of knights with the highest score wins the competition. In addition to the thrilling jousting tournament, the event also includes a historic procession of 350 costumed participants and 27 horses parading through the city center, ending at Piazza Grande.

Accompanied by flag throwers and musicians, the procession sets the stage for the main event. The sister event, Giostra di San Donato, honors Saint Donatus and is held on the penultimate Saturday of June.

Visitors can expect a lively atmosphere and a glimpse into medieval times during these unique events.

Event Schedule

  • 7:00: First cannon salute
  • 10:30: Departure of the Municipal Foot Soldiers and Valets
  • 11:00: Second cannon salute and start of Joust Procession
  • 14:00: Third cannon salute and blessing of the knights
  • 14:30: Parade assembly in Piazza San Domenico
  • 15:00: Fourth cannon salute
  • 15:15: Blessing of the teams by the Bishop of Arezzo
  • 15:30: Grand parade through the historical center, ending in Piazza Grande
  • 17:00: Fifth cannon salute and start of the Joust


The Giostra del Saracino has its roots in medieval times and has become a significant cultural event in the Arezzo territory. Even Dante Alighieri mentioned the event in Canto XXII of Inferno, describing the atmosphere and excitement.

The jousting competition was briefly interrupted during the Second World War but has since been held regularly every year.

The event honors Arezzo’s patron saint, Saint Donatus, with the sister event, Giostra di San Donato, taking place in June.

The second event, Giostra della Madonna del Conforto, is dedicated to the city’s protectress, Our Lady of Comfort.

The Lancia d’Oro, a trophy made of walnut, basswood, or maple, is awarded to the winning Quarter, celebrating the city’s rich history and traditions.

Photo Gallery