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By on Aug 19, 2016 in PHOTOS - | 13 comments

The QUINTANA is a reenactment of a medieval pageant that the people of Ascoli Piceno have been doing for sixty years. The pageant centers around competitions between the six communities that make up the core of Ascoli Piceno called Sestieri. The Sestieri field teams and individuals to compete in medieval-style events such as choreographed flag tossing Sbandietteri, archery, and the highlight event where mounted horsemen, the Cavalierei or knights, engage a target with a lance in a form of joist or giostra. Each sestieri also fields a musical corp consisting of various drums and straight trumpets or clarions. The Quintana begins in mid July and culminates in the first weekend of August.

This year, we decided to go to the staging area where the some 1,500 citizens of Ascoli who are participants gather to form up for the grand procession through town. This gave us an opportunity to freely circulate among these spectacularly costumed people and informally photograph them. The proud community spirit and enthusiasm of the wonderful people of Ascoli, I believe, comes through in many of these images.

The Quintana is just one of the many reasons we feel that life for us in Ascoli Piceno is so rewarding. Enjoy.


  1. Fabulous costumes, and beautifully photographed, Larry. I am so glad that you did not miss the entire Quintana while being in the US. Now I see why you look forward to it so much every year!

  2. Larry, the portraits of the participants in the pageant are wonderful. They all look so proud . Ascoli is such a beautiful community and you have done it great justice in your photos.

    On another note concerning the earthquake, I am shocked at the devastation of those beautiful mountain towns and the number of individuals who have lost their lives. So sad to see this happen in Italy.. Just thankful that you and Arlene are OK.

    • As you know personally Jennifer from having visited here, Ascoli Piceno, like most all of Italy, can’t help but encourage expression. Photography has always been my chosen passion to express my reactions to what I am seeing and feeling. Thank you for your always kind encouragement. Coming from someone with your highly developed artistic abilities, I take it as a high privilege.

  3. Your photos capture the very essence of the Quintana, Larry!! The costumes, the colors of the photos, the variety of participants are fantastic, but you have also done an excellent job capturing the expressions of the participants including your lovely Arlene!! I can hardly wait until next year when I hope we will be there to share the pageantry with you both again!!!

    • Thank you Carmel. We are really looking forward to your speedy return. Sua Amici – Larry & Arlene

  4. I hope you survived the earthquake without damage and injury!

    • Yes, thank you Joyce and the many others who have contacted us in concern for our safety. We are physically fine and Ascoli was virtually unscathed. Other than the very subdued mood, otherwise life in Ascoli would seem very normal.
      A State funeral was held in Ascoli today and we are in an official period of morning for the dead resulting from the major earthquake disaster. The area of serious devastation is in the mountains 35 to 40 kilometers west from here. We felt both the first massive shock with the resulting shaking of our massive building and we have felt the smaller aftershocks. We are familiar with the affected area and have enjoyed visiting there. Many lives and communities will never be the same. Very sobering. Thank you again and so many others for asking.

  5. I am assuming that they reuse the costumes over many years. They look expensive, and heavy, and hot. But beautiful. Great photos!!!

    • Ciao Deborah-
      The costumes are used on several occasions during the year. During the Quintana summer festival, each community (sestieri) selects one first lady (prima donna) for the first contest in July and a different one for the final August contest. So that means rapid alterations. The seamstresses are kept very busy. The costumes are certainly heavy and unquestionably warm. That is a testimony to dedication in itself. The costumes are reused for several years and eventually are retired and new costumes are fabricated

      The costume designs were taken directly from paintings done in the High Renaissance by a highly regarded local artist, Crivelli. Glad you enjoyed the images. Talk about history coming alive!

      • I had assumed that the gowns stayed in the family and were passed down from mother to daughter to daughter, but it sounds like they are more like community dresses for the “prima donna.” The Italian culture is so fun and interesting. I look forward to seeing it again next summer.

  6. Beautiful photography, Larry!

  7. Really delightful photos,just can’t believe the costumes they are spectacular.How can they stand the heat? Arlenes’ is the most sensible though…looking fab! Planning on being at the Quintana next year….so excited.

  8. What a terrific experience. The pictures do show their pride.

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