For the 30th year, last weekend my hometown celebrated its “Palio”. It’s a tradition really loved by my fellow citizens, as well as tourists coming from all Italy and from abroad. My town is divided in 5 “porte”, or gates, the old accesses to the city, each one has a different color, coat of arms, a symbolic animal, a stone and it depends on a different Church (for more about this, check my last year post).
On saturday afternoon the participants of the event, gathered in some particular places around town and then moved to Piazza Duomo (the Cathedral square) where the medieval village had been set
The one below, closing one side of the square, is the Palazzo del Vescovado (the Bishop Palace) where on saturday night a very fancy medieval banquet is held in the cloister for the “captains” and their companions
Sunday morning there was the official presentation of the “Porte”, each one of them at a place meaningful for the gate district. Ours is” Porta Santa Croce” (Holy Cross Gate) and the choosen place was the beautiful Parco Ducale (Dukes Park). The flag throwing show was really amazing…..
while the horsmen (and women) were training for the afternoon parade….
We went home just for a quick lunch, and then out again just in time for the parade…..
Each gate has its own people wearing the traditional costumes with specific colors and fabrics, each representing a family very powerful at that time in the city
And here they are, the horses…..
At the end of the parade it’s time for the donkeys race, with children riding them (one for each gate) without any saddle….someone was a little scared….
The parade wasn’t just about powerful and aristocratic families, there were also villains, soldiers and the masses, as you can see below…..
The end of the parade was a surprise this year. I mentioned two anniversaries: this was the 30th edition of the palio, but we celebrate also 30 years of friendship with the german city of Worms, one of ours Twin Towns. Our vice-major recently went there for the inauguration of Piazza Parma (Parma Square) and a special truck was made by a german company to celebrate the event.
That truck arrived in Parma main square on friday and the two city counsels took a photo together.
With the german delegation, arrived also a bunch of Worms college students who performed (at the end of the parade and in other city streets) a sort of dance, called “hide dance” throwing a piece of leather on the ground with a stunning synchronic sound…..
It was almost at sunset when finally we got home, but it was so worth the terrible pain in our backs and feet……
Hope this link will work….a little of the flag throwing show….. http://youtu.be/NDhWQ234UeY