Italians love a good celebration, even (or especially) if that means commemorating a victory dating back to Medieval times!
Special occasions in Florence and Tuscany generally are often marked with street parades featuring flag throwers.
The art of flag throwing dates back to Medieval and Renaissance times when military parades would be accompanied by their band of merry musicians and their flag bearers.
To add a touch of drama to the parades, the flag bearers would put on a show to wow the gathered crowds by elaborately waving and throwing the flags about.
Flags are considered sacred symbols that are not to touch the ground, thus the flag throwers must take great care in ensuring they never fall.
Accompanied by a costumed band of musicians and on occasion also dancers, all back-dropped by the historical sites of Florence it really does take you back to times past.
Here are some photos from the recent Festa della Regione Toscana in Florence, featuring flag throwers, musicians and dancers from the town of Bagno a Ripoli (and possibly an Artviva guide amongst them!).