Aumenta dimensione fontDiminuisci dimensione font

The mayor on the crossbow competition

A few words from the mayor on the crossbow competition: ‘This moment is of enormous symbolic value for the Balestro del Girifalco and all those people who over the years have offered Massa Marittima and its medieval traditions all their commitment and enthusiasm. The fact that we’ve reached the hundredth edition of this competition is an important result that confirms the quality and professionalism of those involved.

‘The Balestro del Girifalco was founded in 1960 when the few historical re-enactments held in Tuscany – and throughout Italy – were driven by a genuine level of enthusiasm. That is why the idea that came to the founders of the Society of Terzieri districts was particularly inspired and stemmed from a community’s desire to reconnect with its history. This was a winning decision.
‘That enthusiasm and the awareness of the authenticity of this event’s historical roots continue to ensure that the Balestro del Girifalco is a rare, and thus precious, festival in what is now a crowded ‘folklore’ scene in Italy.
The Balestro del Girifalco and the people involved in it have also done a great deal more. Let’s just try and imagine what life would be like in our city without our Terzieri, without their selfless contribution, made at all times of the year, and what difference it would make to the social, cultural and economic life of our region.

‘Moreover, how would we have paid for the closure of the mines, the reduction of metalworking and industrial activity in the area if the community hadn’t already begun that process of reviving historical traditions and reconstructing our identity? It’s thanks to that idea and the commitment that it spawned that Massa Marittima was able to strike out in a new direction without undergoing the social and existential traumas that usually result from such sweeping changes. This was how we came to understand that history and culture could unite pride and a sense of belonging with the ability to open up to new things, to face the challenge of discovering the city’s potential (and the surrounding area’s potential) as a tourist attraction, which until that time had been left unexplored.

‘Thus, the Balestro is not just a popular festival; rather a new way – and at the same time, an ancient way – of spending time together and working together, with the strength that comes from its roots in our history and our collective memory. That is what a hundred Balestri and almost 50 years of history have taught us. This is the foundation of our future.’

Lidia Bai
Mayor of Massa Marittima