You never know where you’ll have an adventure, even when you go somewhere specifically for that purpose.
While I was on my Study Abroad Trip to Italy, some fellow students dragged me off to a medieval festival in Monteriggioni, a small town not far from the city of Siena. Getting to the town was a little stressful, but the fun we had upon arrival was worth it.
Monteriggioni was built to act as an outpost against Florence back when Italy was nothing more than independent city-states. Even by horse and cart standards, the two cities were within close proximity to one another and they weren’t friendly. While Monteriggioni, and later Sienna, would be taken by Florence, the fort remained and eventually became a small town.
When my friends and I got there we explored, are at one of the restaurants, and visited stalls and shops. There were performers, displays, and medieval individuals left and right. At one point I got separated from my friends and wandered off on my own. I heard fast paced, interesting music and went to investigate.
I pushed my way through the crowd and came across a group of men in medieval dress and playing music of the time period. I loved it and when they started a new song I recorded it with my camera. The song lasted for four minutes and my arms were shaking by then. I turned off my camera and went to find my friends even as the group started another song. I eventually found one of them and we visited a nearby shop. When we came out I glanced over at the performers I’d been watching earlier and stopped in my tracks.
In the time that we’d been exploring Monteriggioni I’d seen many people dressed in costumes and walking on stilts, a feat that I thought was impressive in its own right. However, in the midst of the performers was someone who’d taken that a step further. Dressed in black with a scruffy beard and a red mask covering part of his face, the man looked like the devil himself. Only this ‘devil’ had stilts on his feet and hands. I watched in open admiration as he danced using all four, even going so far as to support himself with his hands and left foot as he swung his right leg over the other. I snapped a photo, wishing I’d stayed a bit longer and recorded the next song so that I’d have been able to get his antics in full.
Not long after that we had to leave. As we caught a bus back to Florence I couldn’t help but smile and shake my head. The devil had come down to Monteriggioni.
And did the CanCan.