During the first three weeks of September, Monselice goes back to its glorious medieval past commemorating the days when Emperor Frederick ІІ of Swabia stayed in Monselice in 1239. The event “Giostra della Rocca” (Rocca Tournament) includes archery competitions, proof of strength at the millstones, a relay race, the chess tournament, the Quintana horse racing, the reenactment of medieval arts and crafts, the Tenzone and a spectacular Corteo (parade). The Emperor recognizing the strategic role of the place decided to enlarge and improve the system of walls which protected the inhabited centre. The imposing keep that you can see today on the top of the Rocca hill is called Mastio Federiciano (Frederick’s keep). The event Giostra della Rocca is a reenactment of the tests of strength and skill that were usual entertainment performances in the Middle Ages and were part of the activities performed to entertain the Emperor. Proofs include archery competition, millstone competition, speed, chess games, the quintain (lance game where the competitors on horseback attempt to strike an object with their lance). Nine contradas (districts) have carefully studied the past activities, customs and traditions of their territory and following a strict statute compete each year to win the precious pallium. Then they gather together for the magnificent final parade and to support the modern knights during the quintain. Particularly interesting is also the meticulous reconstruction of the great medieval war machines: towers, crossbows, catapults, boiler pitch, rams and other minor war instruments. The main events take place on the third sunday in September. In the morning the parade involves over two thousand people in medieval costume. In the afternoon the breathtaking quintain, where the riders show their skill and precision trying to collect with their lances small rings riding at full gallop.
The Nine contrade (districts) which have rediscovered the ancient customs and traditions of the village districts are: San Martino, Carmine, Monticelli, San Giacomo, San Cosma, San Bortolo, Torre, Cà Oddo and Marendole.