Foligno, in the heart of Umbria and Italy, is famous worldwide for the Quintana, the jousting tournament which in June and September renews the challenge among the knights of its ten wards. It is a great feast of people, colors and passions, but also an accurate historical, scenic, iconographic and gastronomic reconstruction of the Italian Baroque. The historical center of Foligno is traditionally divided into ten rioni (wards).
The festival’s main events take place in the piazza, however, it is in the taverns were you will find the real action. The Taverns are the heart of the wards and where people meet and taste Umbrian dishes, an occasion which brings back the atmosphere of the spectacular banquets typical of the Baroque period. The food served in the taverns by characters in costumes is prepared following the 17th century recipes. From the architectonic point of view the taverns are very interesting because they are located in the cellars or other parts of the old palaces
The Giostra della Quintana is a knight ring jousting tournament based on a historical event. The definition of Quintana comes from the 5th road of the Roman military camps, where the soldiers were trained to the lance fighting. They run against a dummy-soldier, trying to catch a ring hanging from an arm of the dummy. Here the origin of the tournament’s name, but the first definition and documented “Quintana” as a knights’ jousting tournament during a festival, dates back to 1448. Since then, in Foligno, the “Quintana” has been held uninterruptedly every year. The knights are 10, each representing a quarter of the Town. Rushing at gallop, they have to catch 3 rings having smaller size at each tournament. The rings are hanging from a rotating statue represent Mars the Roman god of war. A number of happenings involve the whole town and a parade of 800 persons dressed in original-like precious dresses walk in the town the day before the joust takes place.