The Devil went Down to Monteriggioni . . . and Did the CanCan
While I was in Italy some friends dragged me off to a medieval festival in Monteriggioni, a small town not far from the city of Sienna. Getting to the town was a little stressful, but the adventures that awaited, and one adventure in particular, was worth it.
Monteriggioni was built to act as an outpost against Florence back when Italy was nothing more than independent city-states. Even by horse and cart standards the two cities were very close to one another and they really didn’t like each other. While Monteriggioni, and later, Sienna would be taken by Florence, the fort remained and eventually became a small town.
When my friends and I got there we explored, ate at one of the restaurants, and visited stalls and shops. There were performers, displays, and medieval individuals left and fight. At one point I got separated from my friends and wandered off on my my own. I heard fast paced, interesting music and went to investigate.
I pushed my way through a crowd and came across a group of men in medieval dress playing music of the time period. I loved it and when they started a new song I recorded it with my camera. The song lasted for four minutes and by the end of it my arm was tired. I turned off my camera and went to find my friends even as the group started another song. I eventually found one of my friends and we visited a shop. When we came out I glanced over at the performers I’d been watching earlier and stopped in my tracks.
In the time that we’d been exploring Monteriggioni I’d seen many people dressed in costumes and walking on stilts, a feet that I thought was impressive in it’s own right. However, in the midst of the performers was someone who’d taken that a step further. Dressed in black with a scruffy beard and a red mask that covered the upper portion of his face, the man looked like the devil himself. Only this ‘devil’ had stilts on his feet and hands. I watched in open admiration as he danced using all four, even going so far as to support himself with his hands and left foot as he swung his right leg over the other. I snapped a photo, wishing I’d stayed a bit longer and recorded the next song.
As we caught a bus back to Florence where we were staying I couldn’t help but smile and shake my head. It would seem that the devil had come down to Monteriggioni and did the CanCan.