The Palio della Balestra takes place on the last Sunday of May in Gubbio and on the second Sunday in September in Sansepolcro. The event goes back to the fifteenth century and is currently organized by the Società Balestrieri of Gubbio Association and that of Sansepolcro on the occasion of the feasts of their respective patron saints, Sant’Ubaldo for Gubbio and Sant’Egidio for Sansepolcro.
The competition consists of hitting the center of the target, called corniolo, with an arrow, called verretta, shot from a crossbow from the distance of 36m. A historical procession with 400 participants wearing medieval costumes for Gubbio and Renaissance costumes for Sansepolcro, the latter inspired by Piero della Francesca, frames the main square as the archers shoot their arrows.
On this occasion the city is enlivened by dances, flea markets and flag throwing displays. The spirit of celebration and competition during the Palio is the spirit of September in Sansepolcro.