Giostra del Saracino

What is Your Secret? - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

Secrets, something that must stay out of light, are no exception in the dark age of Medieval time. As the late physician Paul Tournier put it, “Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.” This may have explained why so many secrets have been exposed with the promise of keeping it such when shared.

Secrets-at-Giostra-del-Saracino-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)

Secrets-at-Giostra-del-Saracino-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(1)

On the day of the Giostra del Saracino in Arezzo, Italy, when the final parade made its way to the Cathedral and the knights from four competing districts waited to be blessed by the Bishop of the city, I witnessed human urge to tell secrets. After all, the Lancia d’Oro (golden spear) is at stake. In my book, the higher the prize, the more juice. :-)

Secrets-at-Giostra-del-Saracino-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)

Secrets-at-Giostra-del-Saracino-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography-(2)

So, what is your secret? By the way, no point in keeping it from others because “if you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself” (George Orwell, 1984).

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Boys Will be Boys ...... - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

I love it when children are like children, like the ones that chase bubbles with all their lives. What I didn’t realize is that boys will be boys and stay that way for a long time. I had this epiphany while in Arezzo, Italy for its Giostra del Saracino. Over there, I got to observe them doing what they do best.

Boys play:

Drumming-Boy-in-Front-of-Chiesa-di-San-Domenico-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Drumming-Boy-in-Front-of-Chiesa-di-San-Domenico-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Boys fight:

Flagwavers-Practice-Fighting-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Flagwavers-Practice-Fighting-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Boys would be playing to fight:

Team-Porta-del-Foro-Getting-Ready-Giostra-del-Saracino-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Team-Porta-del-Foro-Getting-Ready-Giostra-del-Saracino-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

It seems that they each have a boy in their ever-maturing human bodies, rent free. What I need help figuring out is, at what point, the boy gets evicted. Or does he ever? I mean, do you see a boy lurking underneath this gentleman’s skin?

Old-Gentleman-Reading-Newspaper-in-the-Middle-of-Street-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Old-Gentleman-Reading-Newspaper-in-the-Middle-of-Street-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

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Winners Find Solutions in Arezzo, Italy - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

In a recent trip to the medieval city of Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy, I got to take a behind-the-scene view of the flag-wavers practicing in preparation of the city’s upcoming Giostra del Saracino (more on that later). Despite the fact that the team has been performing the art of flag-waving since 1960, it’s never an easy task to keep the flags afloat, let alone with grace.

While we as bystanders tend to focus on the time of performance, I appreciated the practice when it reminded me that at times, just like life, things don’t always go the intended way. There are moments when we feel we almost “dropped the ball”:

Keeping-Aloat-Flagwavers-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Keeping-Aloat-Flagwavers-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

And other times when we are completely swamped:

Flagwavers-being-Swampted-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Flagwavers-being-Swampted-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

As someone puts it:“winners find solutions, losers make excuses.” I am sure the flagwavers never let the weight of the flag staff or the sun glaring into their eyes become what stands in the way of putting out the best orchestrated show every time, even when it means sometimes blood would be shed, which unfortunately happened in this practice.

Flagwavers-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Flagwavers-Arezzo-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

In terms of the small price that I paid to bring back these images? Let’s just say we were in a unique spot (photographically speaking) which happened to be a nice shelter for blood-sucking insects. And, it didn’t help when we were the only two warm bodies there. :P

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