Medieval market in Siena
If you are going to be in or near Siena this Saturday, you will have a chance to see a faithful reconstruction of the medieval market that used to take place in the Piazza del Campo, or Palio Square. The Comune of Siena has already brought the medieval market back to the city once, on November 14th last year, and that event was so successful that this time the number of stands and participants has been increased.
The event is taking place as part of Siena’s “La Città del Si” festival, a celebration of its Costituto [Constitution] of rights and duties. This was written down “in volgare” – that is, in Italian – so that people who did not understand Latin could understand it, between 1309 and 1310. The scribe was a notary called Ranieri di Ghezzo Gangalandi and he was ordered to “write in large letters” and use “good sheepskin paper” for his task. Once he had completed it, every citizen of Siena had the right to see the Costituto and make a copy of all or part of it. Today the Costituto is kept in the State Archives of Siena.
Saturday’s market will be open from 8 am to 8 pm and the 152 stalls will be positioned on the left-hand side of the square as they were in medieval times. You will be able to buy everything from local food products to handmade gifts and rare second-hand books about the art and history of Siena. You will be able to watch craftsmen at work and there will also be street performers. There will be games and entertainment for children on the right-hand side of the square.
Between 11 am and 5 pm visitors will be able to have the stamp on their postcards cancelled by a special marking which commemorates the occasion. You can do this at the Comune di Siena and Associazione Guide Turistiche stands or at other information points.
In the following videos, a description of medieval markets in Italy: