From August 12th to 19th, 2012 in Montone returns (like every year in the penultimate week of August, ed) the "Donazione della Santa Spina nell'Antica Contea di Braccio Fortebraccio" ("Gift of the Holy Thorn in the Ancient County of Braccio Fortebraccio"), the second annual exposition after the Easter Monday. The Donazione is under the patronage of the "Italian National Commission for UNESCO".
The Holy Thorn is a very important relic, being a thorn crown of Jesus Christ.
Legend has it that in 1473 the Count Carlo de Fortebracci, son of Braccio da Montone (also known as Braccio Fotebraccio) and general of the militia of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, received the Thorn by the archpriest of the villa Tugnano as a reward for his contribution in driving the Turks out by the Venetian boundaries. Back in Montone he gave to the people the Holy Thorn, which was then placed in the church of San Francesco dei Minori Conventuali.
In the week of festivities will not have only the historical-religious reenactment: the 3 Rioni (districts) of Montone (Porta del Borgo, Porta del Monte and Porta del Verziere) will compete to win the Palio, which is in honor of the Castellana Margherita Malatesta of Rimini, the wife of Count Carlo and regent of the medieval village in his absence. The winner Rione, the one with the most points after the shooting with the bow and the representations of scenes of medieval life, will appoint Castellana di Montone the one of its District, previously chosen. The 3 Castellane will be presented Sunday, August 12th at 21:30 at Piazza Fortebraccio.
The archery competition of the 2012 Donazione della Santa Spina is scheduled for Tuesday 14th, 21:00 Rocca di Braccio. On August 15th, 16 and 17th, 2012, starting at 21:00, there will be the three rounds with the theatral scenes of medieval life.
Saturday 18th Closing of the Games and Proclamation of the winner Rione, while on Sunday 19th, 2012, from 17:00, old town centre, Grand Historical Parade of the Gift of the Holy Thorn.
And for the entire duration of the re-enactment will be operant the Taverne dei Rioni, juggling and music in the streets.
For a full schedule and more information, please consult the website of the Pro Loco di Montone.