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Palio di San Ranieri

Rowing tournament in honor of the patron saint of Pisa

The Palio di San Ranieri is a rowing race held annually on June 17, the day that celebrates the Patron Saint, San Ranieri. The origins of this palio dates back to the 13th century, on the occasion of a competition held in honour of the assumption into heaven of the Virgin. Is from 1718 that the event will be dedicated to San Ranieri.

The Palio, always preceded by a procession, sees fighting four crews representing the four historic districts of the city: Sant'Antonio,San Francesco, Santa Maria and San Martino. Each crew consists of eight paddlers, a helmsman and a "fitter"; the latter is responsible for the most spectacular part of the race when he has to climb a flagpole placed at the finish and the top 10 meters to retrieve the flag that symbolizes the conquest of "paliotto".

This particular assignment of victory seems to derive from the enterprise of Lepanto in 1571, when the Christian troops after he approached the Turkish flagship took possession of the flame that was on the flagpole.


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albero detail
from the same territory