The Gioco del Ponte (Game of the Bridge, in English) is battle of strength between Pisa’s Northern and Southern medieval rival districts, traditionally called Tramontana and Mezzogiorno, which are physically separated by the Arno River and linked by the Ponte di Mezzo (Middle bridge). It always takes place on the last sunday of June. The historic parade starts at 7 p.m. while at 10 p.m. it’s the game turn.
The Gioco del Ponte’s origins date back to medieval war games. Before the beginning of the game, a historic parade featuring around one thousand actors split into teams, representing the city’s neighborhoods, proceed throughout the Lungarni. The game consists in pushing with one’s neck and shoulders a 7 tons-structure on the Ponte di Mezzo: the six teams of challengers of each faction push the big cart towards the opposite side and the team that’s able to push the other team back wins!If you like, here you can see the 2010 Gioco del Ponte‘s pictures.