“Gioco del Ponte” – The Battle on the Bridge | Pisa
27 June 2020
Ponte di mezzo
The Battle on the Bridge takes place on the evening of the last Saturday of June on the Ponte di Mezzo, the main bridge in the city, where the Magistrature (the city districts) of the Parts of Mezzogiorno and Tramontana (respectively south and north of the River Arno), traditional divisions in the city, face each other. The ‘battle’ consists in pushing a heavy cart along a track mounted on the Ponte di Mezzo without using one’s arms but using only the thrust of one’s neck and legs. The party that wins four fights wins. Before the Battle is a beautiful historical parade along the River Arno, featuring generally over 700 participants in 16th-century costumes.
- 11.00 a.m., general check on the bridge (Ponte di Mezzo): test of the trolley, verification of the sliding and delivery of the 132 bracelets for the fighters of the Parts of Mezzogiorno and Tramontana, at the presence of Judges, Lieutenants and Observers
- 6.30 p.m. Exit of the “Committee of the Seniors” from Palazzo Gambacorti
- 6.45 pm. Judges Parade, composed of 77 pageants and 7 horses. The Judges arrive in Piazza XX Settembre passing through Via San Martino. Hence they parade anticlockwise the Lungarni (riversides): Lungarno Galilei, Ponte della Fortezza, Lungarno Mediceo, Pacinotti, Ponte Solferino, Lungarno Gambacorti.
- 7.00 p.m. simultaneous start of the parades of both Parts (Tramontana and Mezzogiorno), each composed of 324 pageants and 17 horses. Both parts parade anticlockwise along the Lungarni (riversides) .
- 8.15 p.m. Parade Conclusion. Challenge Launch and Response by the Ambassadors of the two Parts. Following the “call to battle” and the launch of the challenges.
- Then, start of the Gioco del Ponte (6 fights “combattimenti” – the Part winning 4 fights, wins)
Free admission on the Lungarni.
Tickets on the tribunes are available and can be purchased at Palazzo Gambacorti (Town Hall) : Mon-Fri 10.00 am -1.00 pm, Tue-Thu 3.00-5.00pm; Saturday 29th 9.00 am – 2.00pm .
Tickets costs € 10,00, free for children under 14 years (a document of identity is requested)
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