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Palio of Piancastagnaio

An equestrian tradition of Tuscany

"Palio of Piancastagnaio" is an established tradition in the Amiata territory; Moreover, throughout the region Tuscany horse races have always been a centuries-old custom. Since the middle ages, the gentlemen were delighted to follow the races between the districts of free communes (among them Piancastagnaio).

In the municipal archives of the country, around the 17th century, is documented the expenditure for the purchase of the "palio" at the time called St Bartholomew or Madonna di San Pietro. It is only in 1952 that Piancastagnaio revived the modern Palio; the rebirth of the ride is due to father Charles Ferdinand who wanted to restore the ancient feast of the Madonna di San Pietro. From 1954 so took again the Palio of Piancastagnaio, which took part in the 4 districts of the country, village, Castle, choir and Voltaia; by 1979 it was established a proper regulation and from that date onwards the event was traditionally held on August 18 before sunset.

On the day of the event representatives of the contrade parade in medieval costumes in a scenic procession along with dame, drummers and flag wavers. Each district chooses his own horse and jockeys the sleeping mountain; the district comes first wins the palio, the well-known drape of silk hand painted by an artist of confidence under assignment of the municipality.


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