Posts Tagged ‘palio’
Write about Siena where I was born and grown up should have been a very easy operation but nothing could be harder for me!
If it is true that human beings are made of history and environment, in the blood of Sieneses flows “Contrada” . Many of you may think of the sheer excitement of a Sienese who wants to beatify her city and its citizens but it is not true. If you’re reading this post as future visitors, my intent would be to open your eyes to things that are not visible and clear at first glance. The Contrade of Siena have mutual tasks from their early days, they were the reference point of a community that, in old times identified itself with a trade corporation that lived and worked in a specific area within medieval city walls, what you can identify as “neighborhood.” Siena is devided in 17 parties (Contrade) and each of them is the reference point for Siena citizens of all ages. Each contrada has a headquarters where carry out activities all year round: a bar, fully equipped kitchens, green spaces, and then museums, churches … all survive thanks to the volunteers. If that is not enough, think that the Contrade intervene in protection of monuments within their territory, the defense of pushovers. The beauty and richness of their sites and museums is immeasurable and therefore I recommend you a guided tour. The visit must be booked in advance and the cost is ridiculous for the experience that will derive.
Thanks to blogtour organized by Borgo Grondaie #unterzociscuno I had the honor to visit two Contrade and their museums. The photos that I show you are a small summary!
HotelSienaBorgo Grondaie is glad to share with you a little history of our beautifulSiena. Through a series of posts we will discover the origins of the most important places of the city. Let’s start with the heart ofSiena, Piazza del Campo (Campo Square).
Conceived as a center of civic and collective life of the medieval city, Piazza del Campo still has a configuration like that one of the fourteenth century. It ‘a closed urban structure that communicates with the outside through a series of cleverly masked gates and arches and ends with the magnificent background of the Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia.
The skyline and the structure of the Piazza del Campo are not born by chance, but during the years of its construction, the government of Siena has gradually enacted laws in order to standardize the architectural style and align the profile of the perimeter and space, an example is the demolition of the church dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul (located between the existing St. Peter and St. Paul alleys) because too protruding from the perimeter that the surrounding buildings were defining. The area that would become the square of today, was originally a reclaimed land to allow rain water running off and while the central part of the city was higher in the Castelvecchio area, the future”Campo” was an area for the markets close to the main roads.
The first document which mentions the placement of the Campo Square dates back to 1169; the Square is cited as “Campus Sancti Pauli” and refers to the entire valley, which also includes the current Piazza del Mercato. The news of the subdivision there was in 1193, when the Square is called “Campus Fori” (acting as livestock, poultry and wheat market) and there was the construction of a dividing wall perhaps placed as a barrier because of the soil erosion. In this way the “Campo” acquires the appearance of a half shell while around the wall and on it the government starts the construction of a nucleus of buildings containing the Customs offices ( for oil and salt) and the so-called Bolgano i.e. the place for the minting of coins.
The floor was much later, in fact, the construction started in 1327 and ended in 1349. Even today the centre of the square is paved with handmade bricks laid edge on.The floor is divided into nine strips of travertine in memory of the “Government of the Nine” (1285-1355). The current travertine balusters date back to 1800.
The development of Piazza del Campo is closely linked to the construction of the City Hall (Palazzo Pubblico) ……. but we’ll talk about next time!
Posted by: www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com
The Palio of Siena is a horse race competition among ten of the seventeen Districts (Contrada) in which the city is divided.
The race traditionally called “Carriera” takes place twice a year, on July,2nd dedicated to the Madonna of Provenzano and on August 16th in honor of Our Lady of the Assumption.
To win the race, horse (with or without jockey) must cut the finish line first after three laps of the Campo Square (Piazza del Campo).
The winner District receives the Palio, a banner of silk ( Drappellone or Cencio ) that is hand painted by local or international artists . This prestigious prize will be carefully preserved in the museum of the Contrada forever.
The next horse race will take place on Monday, July 2nd and the protagonists will be the following Contrada: Eagle ( Aquila)/ Giraffe ( Giraffa)/ Unicorn (Leocorno)/ Shell (Nicchio)/Wave(Onda)/Forest (Selva)/ Snail (Chiocciola)/ Dragon (Drago)/ Tortoise (Tartuca)/ Caterpiller (Bruco).
The fateful moment of the race will be, as always, preceded by amazing days full of events as the presentation of Drappellone on Monday, June 25th at 7 p.m. inside the Cortile del Podestà ( Courtyard of Palazzo Pubblico in Piazza del Campo), followed by Friday, June 29th with the draw for the horses (the so-called “Tratta”), and then the horse trials, the historical parade …everything up to the long-awaited day of the Carriera emphasized by ancient sounds like the bell of the Tower, or the sound of trumpets (Chiarine).
A magical atmosphere to live intensely immersed between past and present, songs and prayers … and so much feeling.
For detailed information about the program please contact Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie.
Posted by: www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com
What does it mean?
The Contrade of Siena are 17 but only 10 run the Palio on July 2nd.
Which one of the 17 Contrade do they run it?
The seven Contrade that have not held in July last year run by ‘law’ while the other 3 missing to 10 by ‘lot’ among the remaining 10.
How do they choice the last?
In much secrecy in Palazzo Pubblico where the captains of the 17 Contrade meet and with the help of a secular tool and a complex ritual ensure 100% impartiality of choice. Once the Contrade were extracted - around 7.00 p.m. – all the people wait in the Square that a municipal employer exhibits the flags of the Contrade extracted from the windows of the Palazzo Pubblico. Each ‘expousure’ is accompained by shouts of joy of the contradioli’s (people who belong to a Contrada) kissed by fortune and, in some cases, by the ‘silence’ of the people of the rival Contrade.
When does it happen?
The last Sunday of May for the Palio of July; so on May 27 this year.
posted by http://www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com