In 1300, the Giostra del Orso was a real Joust of the Bear, a bearbaiting event in which horsemen ceremonially took on a captive ursine. Revived in 1947, the wildly popular July 25 event is now more humane. The highlight in a day of costumed pageantry is the joust, when mounted knights circle around a track and score points by slamming their lances into stylized bear targets. There are daily fruit and veggie markets (except Sun) on Piazza della Sala and Via Ciliegiole, and a thriving Wednesday and Saturday morning market on Piazza del Duomo.

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