On April 25 almost 200 archers arrived in Campiglia Marittima. They gathered first in the central Piazza then made the steep climb up to La Rocca, which was one of the medieval seats of the Gheradesca family to compete for the prizes (salami, wine and olive oil), later to be awarded back in the Piazza.
They were cheered on by the crowds and heralded by the drums and trumpets of the band costumed in brilliant red. Each squad of Archers has a flag from their home territory with an animal symbol such as wild boar, dog, etc. The symbol of the Campiglia group is the dragon.
Time seemed to have morphed back to 1044 when the Rocca was built and one was reminded of a thousand years of the traditions and skills of the Archers. Today there were many children competitors and the ongoing dedication of the teachers to continue the traditions is rewarded by the enthusiasm of the young archers.
Campiglia boasts their champions, Giovanna Tardei has been the reigning woman Archer of Tuscany for two years. The powerful squad, establishing family traditions includes her husband, Gabiello Nunes, daughter Damiana and sister, Alessandra and their club President, Claudio Burratelli and wife, Franca who were hard at work organizing the competition as well as competing.
Not enough to excel as Archers, the day before was spent preparing the Tuscan specialties for the evening feast offered to the competitors and their accompaniers.
Local hospitality was also offered by the Bacco Bar and La Panca, and Campiglia shops joined the generous hospitality by offering prizes and appreciation.
One feels secure that the Archery traditions will be continuing for some time!