Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Volterra Crossbow Tournament

So we have traveled all over France and the UK of GB and all sorts of other places one associates with crossbows--usually wielded by the bad guys--and never yet have we seen a live crossbow tournament. Not until Volterra, that is. And with all the pageantry and pomp and circumstance and history and color that should accompany such an event. I wish I could say "and in English, too," but knowing what was going on probably would have ruined it for us.

Attending the crossbow tournament was Vicki's idea. She's always interested in "folk" things. Well, anything involving costumes. I don't know how many times I have been asked to photograph some poor innocent in a costume, usually a child cruelly forced by parents to engage in some civic pageantry. But here I sensed an opportunity for amusement, even mirth. Nor was I disappointed.
Always comforting to know the Cruce Rosso and EMTs are
present at such events; we arrived early and took seats well
behind the firing line

Local press covered the event; although every 
non-widowed woman in Italy wears tights, this 
is the only male I have seen so dressed; notice 
that I am not the only one shooting in his 

Arrival of Hizzoner the Lord High Mayor and escorts; all this
taking place in the Piazza dei Priori

The MC, who was apparently very funny, although
we got none of the humor

Arrival of the nobility supporting the event

Arrival of more nobility supporting the event

Each house announces its sponsored entries; at great length;
the microphone gal was the busiest of all the participants; I'll
spare you the other seven

More pomp

And finally, "Play ball!"

Entry of contestants; they shoot in flights of two and three;
note the size of the crossbows; all the ones I have seen in the
movies apparently have been carbines; these are howitzers

"Ready, aim..."

The result: pretty impressive accuracy

It takes a micrometer to establish...

A winner

More flights ensue; more losers,  more winners

You get the picture; at this point, the pomp and circumstance
and costumery are over, and Vicki announces she thinks
watching paint dry might be more interesting...

Members of the cast are drifting away, and
so do we; I'll get the results from the ESPN
website tonight

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