Time Travel to Medieval Days

August 7, 2012 / Events
Piegaro, Umbria
Every August Piegaro goes back to its 15th Century heritage as a glassmaking village when the Prince and Princess of Piegaro lived and ruled all the land from their magnificent palazzo.

Everyone looks forward each year to these festivals with anticipation. We are all completely transformed from our workaday selves. The excitement is palpable as the long procession winds through the streets with drummers and banners announcing the arrival of Piegaro royalty, their grand retinue and small children dance along with garlands in their hair.

It is incredible to witness young men who love tradition as much as they like modernity utterly transformed and to live out, if only for a day, life as their ancestors knew it during medieval and Renaissance times. Our whole village is in the cast of medieval characters with their roles to play.

The central piazza is packed with the cast of costumed villagers and hundreds of spectators. For one brief day we are time travelers. It is easy to imagine how our beautiful walled village looked in the 15th Century when lords and ladies mingled with the peasants who come into town to celebrate an August day of dancing, feasting and jousting!

This year on Sunday, August 12 Piegaro will be transformed. The ancient past is never far away in a medieval village.

Colleen Simpson

by Colleen Simpson

Colleen followed a long-held dream and made a home in Piegaro, which is a pristine medieval glass-making village south of Lago Trasimeno in Umbria. She is the innkeeper at www.anticavetreria.net.

29 Responses to “Time Travel to Medieval Days”

  1. Penny Ewles-Bergeron
    Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Colleen, this looks like enormous fun and the combination of costume and street settings is a treat. Thanks for sharing your charming village.

  2. I love re-creations of history. I’m always so impressed by the attention to details and the love of the past that goes into these celebrations. Best of all, I didn’t know this wonderful town existed. Thanks so much! Beautiful!

  3. Linda Boccia


    What about the glassmaking? Are there special displays of traditional and contemporary glassmaking as well? Just an artist’s curiosity. In Borgomanero, Piemonte (where my in-laws lived) during la festa dell’uva every shop has displays using grape designs. It is quite spectacular and in fact there are actually competitions for honors of same.

  4. Linda Boccia

    Dear Colleen…please forgive my spelling error for your name.

  5. Gian Banchero

    Colleen; Not a pair of Jeans in sight, what a relief!!! Thank you!

  6. Colleen,
    This looks like a fabulous event and
    your Village looks enchanting. I will add it to my list of “must visits “. Thank you for this post.

  7. Colleen Simpson

    We look forward to this every year. I have my azure velvet dress embroidered with gold and pearls with long sleeves of velvet and radiant embroidered gold, pearls in my hair and it will be very hot! My husband is dressed as a nobleman with purple velvet cloak and headress and I cannot wait to see him in the black tights! Such fun.
    All day on Sunday will be craftsmen, including glass makers, in our market fair. It is wonderful how our village keeps the traditional crafts alive of straw weaving, woven reed furniture, baskets and glassmaking. I am blessed to be in such a beautiful village…..bellina….a little jewel nestled on an Umbrian hilltop!

  8. Colleen Simpson

    Linda: I was just in the Museo and glass artisans are setting up their beautiful creations. Glass vases, goblets, animals all hand blown. Also glass jewelry. A plethora of beauty!

  9. Linda Boccia

    Hi Colleen:

    Would you be able to take a picture of some of their glasswares as well as the glass jewelry for another followup? It all sounds wonderful and a lot of fun.

  10. Hi Colleen
    What would be the best time to visit on Sunday? I have guests on the house so I need to time my escape! Thanks!

  11. Colleen Simpson

    Seraphina: the Market Faire is all day and the Corteo procession begins at 17:00. Come in the mid-afternoon for the Faire and then watch our Corteo and dramatic presentation with Renaissance dancing in the piazza! Introduce yourself to me! I’ll be wearing the dark azure velvet dress and my husband is in scarlet cloak with huge headpiece of scarlet and gold. A Presto!

  12. I am definitely going to try to come for 4pm see the Faire and watch the procession. Where should I park, I only know the hairdressers in Piegaro, Lara LOL. I will look out for you, thank you. Ci vidiamo!

  13. Colleen Simpson

    I now hear that the processione will be about 5:30-6:00. Park in the first parking to the right below the glass museo, go up the stairs to underpass, right along street and up the stairs to Museo where most of the Faire is located. I am great friends with Lara and her husband, Andrea, who did the renovation with his father of our L’Antica Vetreria! Ci vidiamo!

  14. I have no idea where the glass museo is! Is there a street name you can give me I’m hopeless and always getting lost. I really want to try and come and see some of it. Do I drive into the town past the bar? I’ve only got a short window to come so I don’t want to lose time getting lost.

  15. Colleen Simpson

    Arriving from Montegabbione, go past Bar Fortuna and Lara’s hairdresser salon, turning downhill to right, not into the borgo. After turning to right you will drive downhill following the Piegaro wall and you will see a blue sign for Parking on left. Turn left into this big lot to park. You will see stairs on side of the parking lot. Walk upstairs, through underpass. You will arrive at the big chimney of the vetreria which is now Museo. Turn right and immediately to left up the stairs. You will arrive beside the Museo on your left. This is where most artisans are displaying their works and we will begin the Corteo.

  16. Fantastic directions. Hubby is back in France at the moment and I’m useless, but I know where you mean. Camera batteries charging in readiness! Thank you. A presto!

  17. Malinda

    I loved this story and the photos. I agree, I am thankful that the younger people are interested and willing to participate I. This tradition. Also, I just went to you site. “www.anticavetreria.net.” What a wonderful place. What a fantastic job you have done!

  18. Malinda

    PS: I’m going to explore your interesting and entising site/story more I depth, when I am not on iPad. I want to see more read more and all features won’t work with iPad.

  19. Does this town have anything in the way of online footage of this event? – something like the Calendimaggio on YouTube

  20. Maia Dellacascata

    SIIIIIIIIIIII!!!! You just put Piegaro (and staying with you and Tom) on my Bucket List!!! Time to put my dusty college degree in Medieval and Renaissance History to some practical use : )


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