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Life in the Contrade of Siena

The city before, after and during the Palio di Siena

The city of Siena is divided into seventeen districts matching with partition of the city territory enshrined in 1729 from Bando di Violante di Baviera, Governor of the city and are: Aquila, Bruco, Chiocciola, Civetta, Drago, Giraffa, Istrice, Leocorno, Lupa, Nicchio, Oca, Onda, Pantera, Selva, Tartuca, Torre, Valdimontone.

You can join a contrada family by descent according to the contrada of the parents or because it was born in the district.

Most passionate Contrada Members introduce their children into the life of the district from the earliest moments; the baby is "baptized" at the hands of the prior. It is not a religious ritual, but almost of initiation; This custom does understand what it means to be part of a district. From an early age Contrada members wear the typical monture del Palio in a mix of pride and tradition, they learn to play the drum and turn the flags. Summer language camp, small parties are organised theatrical performances, including the most famous "Ondeon".

Each district is a small community, a family but also a small State supported by a "Seat", from a "prior" and led by a captain. Life in districts remained unchanged for about 5 centuries, thus creating even more aggregation among the people font.

Each district has its headquarters in the Church where on the eve of the Palio horse blessing takes place. The Palio divides and unites, when the district loses, loses all together as well as when he wins. Hope, anticipation and pride of the district and life surrounding this ancient event make the Palio di Siena a unique tradition in the world.

albero detail
from the same territory