Ecco Le Marche have been wandering around many medieval castles and villages in 4 years, sometimes even entered a dedicated museum that talked about the Middle Ages and one of his most important character, Frederik II. But never have we experienced the daily life, the costumes, the weaponry and the tools of the Middle Ages!
Lucky for us, the 11-year-old Association Armati della Antica Marca has invited Elke, Isabelle and me to have a chat and get to know these obscure yet fascinating times better. With more than 45 members, from 6 to 82 years old, the Armati della Antica Marca has a lot of work to do and a lot of duties to share.
Let’s dive in the medieval atmosphere with this video they made during the lockdown. Here they depicted a typical medieval day:
Don’t you feel back in those times already? They are indeed a re-enactment group that take their work very seriously: the period that is covered is from 1100 to 1250, the years of Frederik I and the whole Hohenstaufen dynasty and everything is thought, made and done according to these times.
There are several disciplines in the group: the archery, the sword battles, the historic tools, the dresses and the dances and each of the members is more specialized in one or two of them. This is what make the President Andrea proud: the performances by Armati della Antica Marca could never be monothematic; they can easily entertain a big crowd with different acts for at least 2 hours!
For our interview we had the chance to meet also the vice-presidents Graziano, for the archery and Rolando, expert on historic materials; Marta that is the specialist for the dances and dresses and… my brother, Marco, who has recently been building wooden tools and objects for one big event coming up! (Now I understand all that noise coming from our garage!!)
Nothing is left to chance. The bows and the arrows are all made by hand either by them or by professional artisans, they are indeed historical and thus following specific rules to be made.
The swords, as well, are made by artisans and when in use, they really seem real! Have a look at this video:
They explained to us that there are different poses for either defence or assault and they attend a course twice a week to know how to perform them better. There is indeed a choreography, only when it comes to the end (they decide beforehand who is going to win and lose), but everything in the middle is improvised.
On the video there is also one of the highlights of the Armati’s reenactment: the dances! Of course, the moves and the gestures are accurately reproduced. And if you in the crowd watching them, you may be even called to join in!
The dresses (“that are not costumes”, Andrea underlines) are also sewn and the textiles carefully chosen by the sewers. Their expertise is so high, that they also held a Conference about it just before pandemic hit.
Now’s the question: where can we see them in action?
Otherwise, if you are eager to know them in a short time, from September, 2nd to 4th they will be the reenactors of the tale of Corraduccio d’Accola, a feudatory who left his testament and with that gave a very important sneak peek on the Middle Ages’ life. There is mystery, envy, rivalry and maybe some deaths? The nobles, the clerks and the other landowners were called to action on his deathbed.
The Accola Castle disappeared throughout the ages and nowadays there is only a road named Via Accoli and some stones over which a new house was built to remind us of its existence. The events will be held then in the Beato Angelo Abbey, Cupramontana and Poggio Cupro and are part of the regional festival Marche Storie (that is almost exclusively only in Italian) but on the Turismo Cupramontana website you can actually find and book all three events and the guided visits in English, German, Dutch and French: www.turismo-cupramontana.com/index.php/en/cupramontana-capital-of-the-verdicchio-experience/marchestorie1
The document of Corraduccio d’Accola is indeed very important. In the Middle Ages little they wrote about their life and for the Armati della Marca is not easy to study and research on original document. They say that the most important documents they refer to are actually two illustrated sources: The Bayeux Tapestry and The Morgan Bible.
Can you feel a bit of medieval atmosphere already?