Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 22, 2016

Sbandieratori, Tamburini and more

I know I said this post would be about the donkey race, but the festivities that went on before were so fabulous I want to share them with you. The costumes alone are worthy of their own post, before I even get to the spectacle that is flag throwing.

The competition among the 8 contrade (districts of Torrita di Siena) is fierce. On Saturday night all the spectacle that the town could muster was on show in Piazza Matteotti, the lovely square in the middle of town.

First into the piazza was the band, people of all ages.

Palio dei Somari

Then came the competitors. There were 2 sbandieratori (flag throwers) and 2 tamburini (drummers) in each team.  Prizes are given to both the drummers and the throwers. The costumes were stunning and the participants were very athletic. Winners are announced at the Palio on Sunday.

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

There was also an exhibition by an amazing troup, who looked very professional.

Palio dei Somari

The evening finished with a bit of fire breathing, just to add to the spectacle.

Palio dei Somari

Sunday morning’s activities were even more spectacular. The entourage of each contrade made their entrance into the piazza, led by 2 knights, a flag bearer and the band.

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Everyone filed into the church for mass. They returned to the piazza for the most exciting part…the sbandieratori and tamburini display.

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

Palio dei Somari

After the magnificent display everyone took their places for the parade through the town. I told you my apartment was close to the action, that is my front door behind the participants.

Palio dei Somari

At last the final person disappeared down the street and it was time to have some lunch and get ready for the main event.

The next post will have donkeys.

 

 

 


Responses

  1. Wow! Spectacular costumes…..it would have been an amazing event to see.

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    • I didn’t know what to expect. Torrita di Siena is not a big town, but they sure know how to put on a show. The festivities lasted for a week, but I was there just for the last 2 days.

      Like

  2. The Italians are unbeatable when it comes to historical recreations. Thank you for sharing this event with us, Deb!

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  3. Wow, great post.

    Like

    • I took hundreds of photos, it was amazing. The whole event was brilliant, the organisers did a great job.

      Like

  4. Amazing Deb. For wonderful to be there What a spectacle You had a good position to take such clever pictures.

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    • For some of it I had a good position, but for the middle bit I was wedged between a couple of tall men, one of whom kept colliding with me.

      Like

  5. How truly thrilling – everyone seems to play their part so well. I imagine that in medieval times they were competing for serious favours – or perhaps – honour. I wonder where all those beautiful costumes are stored in between times.

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    • The detail in some of the costumes was amazing. No doubt there is plenty of storage space. Only a handful ofpeople live in the old town. Once it was pedestrianised most moved out to the new part of town.

      Like

  6. Wow, what a great post and great images! Makes me want to be there.

    Like

  7. Hi Deb, Happy Easter darling!

    Like

  8. Beautiful! Forgive the movie reference but was this event in Under The Tuscan Sun?

    Like

    • It is years since I saw that movie, so I don’t know. These events are not uncommon in Italy. Torrita di Siena is not far from Cortona, so it could be the one.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Fabulous post. Just to confirm ‘Mary’s’ comment – Yes, that event also took place in the Under the Tuscan Sun movie. It was the young Polish suitor who was participating….right? Super event. Can’t wait for the next post!!

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    • I wasn’t all that impressed with the movie, but I will watch it again to see that bit.

      Like

  10. what fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Like

    • It was a great event. I pleased I stayed for the weekend.

      Like

  11. Outstanding. My cousin is involved in a similar festival in Pescia. Last week of August ending the first weekend in September. Will you be in Italy at that time?

    Like

    • I am not here in August, but sometimes I arrive in September. I will look for the festival.

      Like

  12. What a spectacular event. I bet the accompanying music/drums were equally as fabulous.
    Looking forward to the donkeys……

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    • Yes, the music and drums are excellent. It is a very exciting event to watch.

      Like

  13. Looks spectacular! I want this on my bucket list!

    Like

  14. Wow, That is so colorful! Those drummers really get into it, don’t they? Our local town of Monselice has a parade and pageant with what looks like the same. I enjoy it.
    I just got back from Dubai where I went to the World Expo and heard a great bank in the Kuwait pavilion. They had energy!
    Keep writing….
    http://whatfillsmyplate.blogspot.it/

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  15. How great that you got to see all this! Thanks for sharing the photos.

    Like

  16. […] couldn’t get any takers to join me to see the Donkey Palio in Torrita di Siena, so I went alone…what a treat. I am going again in 2017. As well as the hilarious donkey race […]

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