Since 1981 three italian city hosted the European Senior Fencing Championships: Foggia in 1981, Bolzano in 1999 and Legnano, from June 15th to 20th 2012.
Legnano is an Italian town with about 59.147 inhabitants. Located near Milano (20 km), it is the main town of Lombardia Region. Crossed by Olona river, it's the 13th city in Lombardia in terms of population.
The origins of Legnano go back among XXI and XIX century B.C. It is certain that in those centuries the hills among Olona river were habitable places.
La Battaglia di Legnano (Battle of Legnano)
The battle of Legnano took place on May, 29th 1176 near the city best known as Legnano. It was the most important battle in the long, crucial war between the Roman Holy Empire and the Italian Commons of Northern Italy which were grouped for the first time in the Lega Lombarda, a league ruled by Pope Alexander the Third. The emperor Federico Babarossa tried to wield his power to subject the Commons, but he was defeated by the League which made an excellent use of landscape and cooperations among their unities against an army basically composed of horsemen.
Il Palio di Legnano (The traditional horse race of Legnano)
The Palio of Legnano takes place every year on the last Sunday of May, in order to celebrate the Battle of Legnano. The most ancient commemorations of that Battle went back to 1393 and took place at Basilica of San Simpliciano, in Milan. The Palio as known today was celebrated for the first time on May, 26th 1935. The celebration was interrupted after 1939 edition because of the II World War and restarted in 1952, thanks to “Famiglia Legnanese” association and to the City of Legnano.
Palio is the most important event of Carrocio Feast. The organization is run by City of Legnano government and “Collegio dei Capitani e delle Contrade” too, together with President of Famiglia Legnanese: they are all grouped in a special committee directed by “Supremo Magistrato”, who is usually the Mayor of the city. Before Palio, the City hosts an historical parade made by more than 1200 walks-on in medieval costumes, whose suits and shields perfectly represent the ones of XII century.
The topic moment during Palio is the horse-racing bareback, where the eight Legnano “contrade” (areas) in which was symbolically divided the city territory are present. They are: Flora, San Bernardino, San Martino, San Domenico, San Magno, Sant'Ambrogio, Legnarello, Sant'Erasmo.
Castello di Legnano (The Castle of Legnano)
The Castle of Legnano stands in the Southern part of the City, on the island of Olona river. It is known as the "Castrum Sancti Georgi" (Saint George Castle) since XII century. In the perimeter of the Castle there’s a little church dedicated to St. George and probably built up in 1440 on the track of an ancient building belonged to a monastery of Regolari Agostiniani monks. Documents about the church are dated 1580, 1640, 1686 and 1779. The Castle was used, during the past centuries, as family grave and also as place of private faith.