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La Sartiglia in Oristano

by Maud on Mar 14, 2017

La Sartiglia is a big equestrian event in Sardinia, which occurs during the last Sunday and Tuesday of the Oristano Carnival. Usually held in February, La Sartiglia celebrates the Cumponidori who is a horseman dressed in colourful ritual garments and becomes the king of the celebrations.


Photo credits: Massimiliano Cao

The event is organised by the Gremio (corporation/guild) of peasants and Gremio of Carpenters. The Gremio of peasants, protected by Saint John the Baptist, are in charge of the event on Sunday while the Gremio of carpenters organize the event on Tuesday.

Participants, usually skilled equestrians, gallop through the streets of the town centre and attempt to spear a tin star that is hung across their path. The tin star is usually just above the horseman’s height and is hung across the street near the Cathedral.

Other activities in the event include the donning of the Cumponidori, a parade of Sardinian traditional clothes, and horseback acrobatics.


Photo credits: Matteo de Felice

A Long-Lived Tradition

This tournament has been held for the past 500 years. The tradition dates as far back as 1543 and is believed to have originated in Oristano before Spanish settlers arrived. The event is a testament to the importance of horse breeding in Oristano as well as the surrounding countryside areas at the time.

Other Adventures

Some of these nearby towns are Costa Smeralda and Porto Cervo. Only 200 kilometres away, you can drive to these areas in 2 hours. If you’re in Oristano for the carnival, you might want to consider dropping these two towns.

While in you’re in Costa Smeralda, you can swim in the blue waters, explore archaeological sites, or lounge at the La Promenade du Port. At Porto Cervo, a much better treat awaits you. Here, you can enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the area while swimming on the beach on the gulf of Cala di Volpe.


Photo credits: Luca Farris


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La Sartiglia in Oristano

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