The historical reenactment of the bracelet challenge

The most well-known traditional event that takes place in the city of Treia

In Italy there are many historical re-enactments that take place every year in various areas of the peninsula. These are events of the local tradition and have an ancient history. One of the most interesting and well-known is the Bracelet Challenge that is celebrated every year, in the two weeks preceding the first Sunday of August, in the small town of Treia. Italian Tradition will guide you on the discovery of this historic event that involves the entire population and which every year attracts many visitors from all over Italy and from abroad.


What is the Bracelet challenge

The bracelet challenge is a historical re-enactment referring to the early 1800s. The period, characterized by major political and social changes, also coincided with the golden season of what was, at the time, a very widespread sport. Its origins are certainly even older, but the greatest popularity was achieved during the Renaissance when, followed by a strong popular interest and also mentioned in literature, it was practiced by the noble class and favored by the construction of special arenas in various Italian cities. To a famous player at the time, Leopardi dedicated the poem ” A un vincitore nel pallone”.

The challenge of Treia is a city event that celebrates the splendor of the past. Here there is a unique atmosphere that recalls the past through a meticulous reconstruction of the life of the period in every district of the city of Treia. It is normally held on the first Sunday of August and is preceded by ten days of celebrations and re-enactments.

The teams of the four city districts challenge each other and the winning team will win the trophy that they can keep for one year.

But that’s not all, during the weeks of the event the entire historic center is animated by shows and music. In the local taverns and restaurants, traditional recipes of the historical period are presented. Artisan workshops present the works of local artists and everything related to tradition and the period (early ‘800) of maximum splendor and diffusion of the challenge. Saturday evening is characterized by endless discussions on the game the next day. Sunday is the day of the Challenge held in the arena, preceded by parades and ceremonies all strictly in costume.


The History

The game of the Bracelet Challenge has an ancient origins. Its practice was noticeably widespread as early as ancient Greece. During the Renaissance period it became the game most practiced by Italians. In the 1700s and 1800s many arenas were built. This was due to the ever increasing popularity of this game that forced many cities to create new playgrounds. The sport was practiced only by the nobles but was also followed by the most popular classes.



The game and the rules

The bracelet game has a few analogies with tennis: it consists in launching a ball from one side to the other of the field using, a wooden sleeve inserted on the arm (the “bracelet”) instead of a racket. Obviously the bracelet is hollow internally, weighs about two kilos and is equipped with spikes that allow to give the effect to the ball.

In detail, the game takes place in the “spheristeri”, particular city arenas.

The field is in clay and has a length ranging from 90 to 100 meters and a width of 16 to 18 meters.

The teams are each composed of three players divided by role. These are:

  • the batsman
  • shoulder
  • the full-back.

A player outside the game, called a herdsman, has the task of throwing the ball to the batter, who descends with momentum from a sloping trampoline and must try to hit the ball with the bracelet. The score is calculated as in tennis and each time ball is thrown over the back wall a point is scored, the side walls can also be used to score points as they are part of the pitch.

Where it takes place and how to get there

As mentioned, the Bracelet Challenge has taken place every year since 1979 in the city of Treia in the province of Macerata in the Marche region and can be easily reached via the A-14 motorway taking the Ancona exit. The nearest train station is Macerata.

Some traditional events are still celebrated today in many Italian cities. These are festivals that recall an ancient past and which involve the entire population. If you want to know other traditional celebrations we recommend reading this article tooquesto. Now that you know about the bracelet challenge you just have to organize your visit to the Marche region to attend the event.


1 comment

  1. Grazie mille per le informazioni. Ho visto un poster qualche anno fa, ma non sapevo che tipo di sport fosse.

Write a response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your custom text © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.