Questions about those archers were answered and a big surprise occurred later as you will see. But first we took a walk in town and wound up going up one of the steepest alleys. Earlier we had seen a couple with a child in a carriage go up that same alley (which included stairs up which the carriage had to be carried!) so we asked ourselves, "Why not?" Clearly the young family was used to that climb, but we didn't do badly either. The picture is when we were almost to the top; I stopped to record the colors - so rich!
Here is a building whose decorations are just wonderful. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a better photo since the "street" on which this building stood was so narrow, I couldn't get far enough away from the building to capture the upper two stories.
But I could get the design between the first and second floors (though by European custom, I should be saying the second and third floors as they do not count the ground floor). I wish I could find our more about this type of decoration: stencil? plaster work ala fresco? painting? sgraffito?
Then, on our way down this new passageway we saw this. All those little Johnny Jump-ups interspersed with little birdcages.
I didn't realize it , but we were headed back to the main square by the Palazzo Comunale. The closer we got, the easier it was to hear some drumming and occasional music. Then around the corner we saw - a parade of Archers!
They all gathered on the steps going up the Palazzo Comunale with (from the left) the Cortona flag bearer, the mayor, "Miss Cortona" (? it's a guess), and the "Queen of the Tourney" (another guess).
The brass band with drummers enter the square.
Followed by the flag tossers: male, female, and youngsters!
tosses her flag (no mean feat),
readies herself for the catch,
Success! She beams.
Then the youngest member of the troupe displays his power in this toss. Look at the height of his flag!
Runs to bring up the end of the Flag line and get ready for the show they put on as a group.
After that was the awarding of the prizes for the best archers. Look at her face!
And for me, the most touching one of all.
And yes, she made it all the way up and down those stairs by herself. Brava!
The day ended with sun and sky putting on their own show in the Piazza.
What a bonus this day was!