ANNUAL FESTIVALS & EVENTS IN MONTONE
Montone hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, the most important being la Donazione della Santa Spina, the Gift of the Holy Thorn (Mark II), which is held, usually over an eight- or nine-day period in mid-August.
La Donazione della Santa Spina Mark I
On Easter Monday the Montonesi let their hair down, wearing medieval dress and participating in medieval sports such as archery, in celebration of this one-day-of-the-year presentation of the Holy Thorn. The Holy Thorn is allegedly a thorn from the crown of Jesus which was presented to Carlo Fortebraccio by the Republic of Venice in 1473 in gratitude for his assistance in defending the city from invading Moors. Carlo then passed it on to the people of his hometown, Montone. The thorn has been held by the Chiesa (Church) di San Francesco since 1473 and has been shown to the villagers of Montone over the centuries on Easter Monday.
La Donazione della Santa Spina Mark II
An eight- or nine-day extravaganza during which Montone celebrates its medieval past. The locals dress up in medieval clothing and have a very good time. The various wards - Rione Porta del Borgovecchio, Rione Porta del Verziere and Rione Porta del Montone) bedeck their houses and streets with all manner of colourful cloths and vie for the honour of ... well ... for the honour of having the best time. Medieval sports and clothing are de rigueur.
Rassegna dei Mastri Fabbri Forgiatori
This is an annual even - an exhibition put on by the Master Blacksmiths of Italy - usually concluded during the last week-end of May. (Some of the fixtures and items of furniture in Appartamenti Arietani and Casa Valdeste were forged by Montone's blacksmith, Gianluca Volontiero, whose smithy is located just to the left before you enter Porta del Borgovecchio.
Umbria Film Festival
An annual event in which many of the latest world films are screened in Piazza Fortebraccio. Michael Palin is a regular.
An annual contest featuring some of the best bands in Italy, held during late July and early August.
La Festa del Bosco
During the last week-end of October and sometimes encroaching on the start of November the local shops tart themselves up and afford the Montonesi and visitors the opportunity to get stuck into i cibi tipici, the foods typical of the area.
Other events on Montone's calendar
la Processione del Cristo Morto (Good Friday)
la Processione del Cristo Risorto (Easter Monday)
la Festa di Santa Cecilia (Patron Saint of Music, 23 November)
Capodanno, a New Year's Eve party that starts about 10 pm on 31.12 and finishes about 4 am on 1.1. A very convivial and friendly affair attended by all Montonesi and a fair-sized section of the rest of Umbria.
There are also numerous free choral and other musical events throughout the year in the Teatro comunale and Chiesa San Francesco.