50th Sagra del Tordo
Trip Start Jul 15, 2007
197Trip End Jul 16, 2008
Today we attended the 50th observance of the Sagra del Tordo, Montalcino's Festival of the Thrush. Traditionally, this was celebrated with thousands of thrushes (yes, the songbird) grilled over open fires, accompanied by casks of Brunello.
We saw no thrushes, but we did eat polenta with ragu, fegatinno (grilled pork liver), gnocchi, barbecued wild boar ribs and assorted other tasty morsels, washed down with very good and very cheap local wine. (Not Brunello, which while very good is anything but cheap.) As you can probably imagine, Katharine was not happy with the choices, and had white bread with olive oil.
The Sagra del Tordo is the occasion for Montalcino's four quartieres to show their stuff and compete for bragging rights
We arrived at the right time and place to see two of the four quartieres do their parade to the Piazza Cavour. Each featured a drummer, boys and girls, two archers and an armoured knight, a king and queen, and assorted hangers-on, all in appropriate medieval dress in the colors of the quarter.
With tired kids and hungry adults, plus an 8 euro fee per person to watch the archers from the stands, we did not stay for the full competition. We did notice today that both sides of the monument in the center of the roundabout have been repainted in the colors of the winning quarter.
A bit like the Mummers, no?