Sansepolcro, Crossbow Palio

Crossbow Palio
Palio della Balestra
Sansepolcro (Arezzo, Tuscany region)


a spectacular shooting contest in period costumes using the Italian medieval fixed crossbow to relive a tradition which endures since the Middle Ages and seeing still today two historical towns from Umbria and Tuscany regions challenging each other in a fair but fierce competition, and in the background a quite rich programme of leisure and educational activities for all ages and tastes to relive the atmosphere of the Middle Ages...


Geographical, cultural and historical context

Sansepolcro, located at the foot of the Tuscan Apennines, along river Tiber, is famous for being the birthplace of Piero della Francesca (1416-1492 AD, Italian mathematician and artist of the Early Renaissance), as well as one of the most fascinating artistic Renaissance towns thanks to the elegance and the sophistication of its architectures.


Event description and programme

Every year in September, when the crossbowmen of Sansepolcro renew the challenge to their friends and rivals from Gubbio in Umbria region, the whole town relives the traditions and the atmosphere, the arts and crafts of its glorious past, wearing the colours of Piero della Francesca's masterpieces, and recalling its proud past of free city, constantly engaged in defending against attacks from the nearby Lords. And just from the military exercises to keep trained the town militia has originated the shooting challenge with the old Italian fixed crossbow. Sitting on benches set at a distance of 36 meters, the crossbowmen try to shoot the target, while many historical characters dressed in period costumes follow the contest, and the flag-wavers throw their coloured flags high in the sky. The weeks before and after the Palio are full of events: music, arts, cuisine, exhibitions and a wealth of other leisure and educational activities for young and old. 

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Sansepolcro Crossbowmen Society / Società Balestrieri Sansepolcro
Address: Via della Fonte, 5 - 52037 Sansepolcro (Arezzo), Italy
Tel./Fax: +39 (0)575 736360

Sansepolcro Town Council / Comune di Sansepolcro
Address: Via Matteotti ,1 - 52037 Sansepolcro (Arezzo), Italy
Tel.: +39 (0)575 7321 | Fax: +39 (0)575 732263

Image: Società Balestrieri Sansepolcro
Text sources: Società Balestrieri Sansepolcro, Sansepolcro Town Council, Wikipedia

Sansepolcro on Google Maps:



Promos and video reportages of the event:




statistiche free