On February 14th 2009, Cortona’s sbandieratori, or historical flagthrowers, put on a great show for a chilly crowd (it was around the freezing mark). At noon, their new medieval costumes were unveiled by the designer in a special ceremony. The new costumes are more consistent than the last, in that the drummers, trumpeters, and flag throwers, as well as the standard bearer and archer, all are dressed in red and white, in the same fabric. (The old costumes had different colours for each position, as far as I can tell.) The costumes and the flag take up the lion symbol of the town.


At 4:30pm the town and a few tourists gathered on the steps of the comune to see the show. The band marched in, followed by the 8 talented young people with the honorable passion of flag throwing. Their incredible performance to the beat of the drums kept everyone on the edge of their seats, especially with some high tosses that made you hold your breath and hope they pulled it off. The drummers (and trumpeteers) were less flashy but equally well-rehearsed. (A personal aside: I hear them practise every night from my apartment. You really get an appreciation for the range of sound that can come out of a drum.) Here are some photos and a video taken from my position on the steps.

Watch AJ Weiss and Tuscan Productions’ video:

Cortona In Love from A.J. Weiss on Vimeo.

…and see the photos below.

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