"Gubbio: a very proud, very pure Umbrian town" Top 5 Page for this destination Gubbio by Trekki
Gubbio Travel Guide: 149 reviews and 664 photos
I dedicate this page to my glorious society of balestrieri di Gubbio and to the people of quartiere Sant’Andrea. You all have a special place forever deep in my heart. I would like to thank you for the marvellous days and for your very much contagious joie de vivre. I look very much forward to my next time :-)
La mia intera pagina é dedicata alle persone del quartiere di Sant’Andrea e alla Gloriosa Società dei Balestrieri della città di Gubbio. Avrete per sempre un posto nel profondo del mio cuore. Vi ringrazio per i meravigliosi giorni e momenti e per la vostra gioia di vivere che mi avete trasmesso completamente. Aspetto con gioia di rivedervi la prossima volta.
My first visit to Gubbio was in April 2008. These days the town didn’t impress me much but somehow I knew that “there was something in the air”, which I couldn’t explain. So I did research, collected information, looked at the photos and one day I realised that it indeed left a deep impression in my heart. By that time back in April 2008 I haven’t seen everything in Gubbio, I haven’t even seen 10% of the sights Gubbio does offer to its visitor. But I seemed to have seen enough between the lines, which had left marks in my heart, which started to unveil since early 2009 and which so desperately made me want to come back.
Gubbio is proud, Gubbio is very old. Already 1 millenium B.C. the Umbri settled here in what they called Iguvium. It was their centre but their territory stretched out as far north as Rimini and as far south as Terni. The Umbri are older than the Etruscans. They were very religious and celebrated many ceremonies in their daily life. And part of this has been conserved forever through the Iguvine Tables which have been found here and which are exhibited in Gubbio’s Palazzo dei Consoli. These tables are a similar like the Rosetta Stone, although the Rosetta Stone is much younger.
Gubbio’s locals call themselves Eugubini and are very much proud of their heritage and tradition. Many traditions survived until today and when the Eugubini perform their local festivals or demonstrate their artistic skills, they do it with passion, with love for their home town, land and heritage. How much they do I realised when I collected links and websites for my local customs. And while I wrote my (first) local customs early 2009 I realised what I wrote above: how much I actually have missed to see, how much I saw between the lines and how desperately I wanted to come back. But then with a basic knowledge of Italian, because I wanted to know more, wanted to learn more and wanted to communicate with these so proud Eugubini.
After my second visit in autumn 2009 I realised why Gubbio has captured my heart forever. It is the perfect harmony of the town and the locals. It is as if the one could not be without the other. Gubbio without the passionate people would be an empty stone shell without life and the Eugubini without their town would be unhappy. It is a most magic way they live their traditions without being old fashioned. The ancient traditions and values are part of their soul and their daily life and thus have been carried into the today’s world throughout all generations. Sant’Ubaldo, the patron saint, is still alive, not only during the Festa di Ceri (Ceri race). I feel and know that, for the Eugubini, he has a higher importance than Christ. It is a very homogeneous world, much more than the famous-infamous Todi or Cortona could have ever been before they were invaded by foreigners due to some clever marketing as most livable town or movie location.
Gubbio is authentic and will always be, it is this perfect harmony and this deep passion and traditions which are part of the life.
I think you have realised that I would like to put emphasis on my local customs tips. I wrote them with passion. But my passion is only a fraction of the passions the Eugubini have for all their traditions. Please take the time and watch the videos I have linked.
And enjoy Gubbio :-)
And when you come for a visit: look and feel and talk and let all what you see and feel and heard enter your heart and soul and you will know what I mean. And then you will also want to come back. And you will know that something has changed in you. For the better.
My page about Gubbio is rather long by now. If you wish to, follow my suggested tour and start with reading about my introduction to this town "Gubbio will change you but never vice versa" => here and continue by following the respective links at the end of each tip. At the end, I link back to my intro page.
The city officials are currently in the process of applying Festa dei Ceri to become listed in UNESCO's Intangible Heritage. I cross all my fingers and toes that UNESCO's decision will be positive because this festa is exactly what UNESCO describes as intangible heritage: "the totality of tradition-based creations of a cultural community expressed by a group or individuals and recognised as reflecting the expectations of a community in so far as they reflect its cultural and social identity; its standards are transmitted orally, by imitation or by other means." I only wish they would have included the Società of Campanari, Balestrieri and Sbandieratori as well, because they all represent what UNESCO defines as intangible heritage.
It was or is one of these most magic stories only life can write. I was so much looking forward to my Italian lessons in autumn 2009, since I found the perfect teacher with Edvige Galasso who happens to live here. My two weeks here were magic. It was as if I have arrived. After all these years on the planet, I had this enormous peace in me. It was as if Goethe wrote the words of his Easter Walk only for me: here I am (hu)man, here dare it to be. Through Edvige I met locals of the several societies and they showed me so much of their traditions, so candid, so unprejudiced. I learned so much and came back to where I live in peace with me. And then, at Christmas, I got the most precious gift I ever got, an invitation as guest for the Palio della Balestra of the Glorious Society of Gubbio's crossbowers in May 2010, including all the festivities around it. There is much more to this than I can ever express. For someone like me, who was educated that appreciation always comes with egocentric demands and debts (and if I didn’t obey to the demands it would result in disesteem by my mother and several others) this openness and appreciation of Gubbio’s Eugubini was like the gift of life. It is precious.
Grazie mille again! I looked so much forward to May 2010, to the festivals, especially the Palio, looked forward to all the magic moments I wanted to capture with my camera for you all, Eugubini, for an even better calendar for 2011 and 2012. May 2010 ..... I was there, felt at home, learned more, arrived. The moment when I joined you, balestrieri, donne, tamburini, in Corteo Storico at Palazzo Bargello, when the campanari rung campanone, when we all arrived at Piazza Grande, when the tournament started and ended – this will be forever the most precious time in my life.
E poi sono arrivata…
Era o è uno di quelle storie così magiche che soltanto la vita può scrivere. Così stavo aspettando le mie lezioni italiane in autunno 2009, poiché avvevo trovato l'insegnante perfetta con Edvige Galasso che vive qui. Le mie due settimane qui erano magiche. Era come se fossi arrivata. Dopo tutti questi anni sul pianeta, ho avuto questa pace enorme in me. Era come se Goethe scrivesse le parole della sua camminata di Pasqua soltanto per me: qui io sono, qui posso essere uomo. Con Edvige ho incontrato gli Eugubini nelle tre società e loro mi hanno mostrato molto delle loro tradizioni, così schiette, così autentiche. Ho imparato moltissimo e sono ritornata a dove vivo con una grandissima pace dentro di me. Ed allora, al Natale 2009, ho ottenuto il regalo più prezioso che abbia ottenuto mai, un invito come ospite per il Palio della Balestra di maggio, compreso tutti i festeggiamenti intorno a esso. Non posso esprimere tutto quello vorrei a proposito di questo. Per una persona come me, educata con la regola che l'apprezzamento deriva sempre da una richiesta egocentrica o da un debito (e se non obbedivo alle richieste avrei provocato il disprezzo di mia madre e molti altri) l’ apertura e l’apprezzamento gratuite degli Eugubini di Gubbio erano come il regalo di una vita. È prezioso.
Mille Grazie ancora! Sto aspettando con impazienzia maggio 2010 e i segnanti, il festival, particolarmente il Palio, aspettando tutti i momenti magici che catturerò con la mia macchina fotografica per voi, Eugubini, per un calendario ancora migliore per il 2012 e aspettando un progetto speciale che ho già nella mia mente che può essere realizzato soltanto con voi e che avrà un titolo simile come "Passione e tradizione – il dono della vita".
All pictures have been taken by me, if not marked otherwise.
Please do not use any of them without my permission.
The same applies for my writings here.
- Pros:Fascinating, colourful, magnificent traditions, lovely setting
- In a nutshell::-) I will live here for the rest of my life :-) If I am allowed to
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