CONTRADA DELLA TORRE IS THE WINNER OF THE JULY PALIO 2015

Torre's jockey Brio winning the July Palio 2015 on Morosita Prima
Jockey Brio during the fourth trial race on horse Morosita Prima running for Contrada della Torre (here passing in front of the blue and white wearing members of enemy contrada dell'Onda)

A false start happened after nearly an hour of waiting for horses and jockeys to properly align in piazza del Campo. Then more waiting and even worrying that with night falling the Palio may have to be postponed to the next day.* But it was worth the long wait to see contrada della Torre win.  

The only neighborhood in Siena with two enemy contrade had both of them - Onda and Oca - present in the race. In fact Onda was following sharp, but Torre's horse Morosita Prima and its experienced jockey Brio turned the Torre neighborhood into the celebrated winners of the Palio della Madonna di Provenzano 2015. Brio (born in Sovicille near Siena as Andrea Mari) has participated in 21 Palios and has won its fifth one tonight. 

Contrada della Torre hadn't won since the Palio of the 16th of August 2005. Ten years may seem like a long time, but is nothing compared to the 44 years that the Torre contrada members had to wait for a win after the one of the 16th of August 1961. 

*The last time a Palio had to be postponed to the following day because of insufficient day light on piazza del Campo was in July 1991. Contrada della Tartuca won the Palio della Madonna di Provenzano hence not as usual on July 2 but on July 3, 1991.

PARTICIPATING CONTRADE IN THE PALIO RACE ON JULY 2, 2015

Siena's onda (wave) contrada getting ready for the July Palio
Palio dinner preparations in the Onda neighborhood


As with every Palio, only 10 out of Siena's 17 contrade can participate in the horse race. 

The ten contrade which will race piazza del Campo on July 2, 2015 in the world's oldest continually run sporting event are: 

  • Torre (tower)
  • Nicchio (shell)
  • Civetta (owl)
  • Valdimontone (ram)
  • Leocorno (unicorn)
  • Oca (goose)
  • Pantera (pantheress)
  • Selva (forest)
  • Onda (wave)
  • Tartuca (tortoise)


PALIO HOSE RACE JULY 2, 2015

The weather forecast shows 30 degrees for the whole week in Siena. If you're not great with the heat and sticky crowds skip the long afternoon of waiting in piazza del Campo on July 2, and make do with a trial race instead. The first of them takes place on the evening of June 29 at 7.45 pm. Followed by morning trials at 9 pm and evening trials (again at 7.45 pm) on all the days leading up to the final race on July 2. The morning trials are less busy than the evening ones, but the light is beautiful and the town is at its best since not touristy yet at that time of the day.

The Palio neighbourhood dinners (Cena della Prova Generale) take place on the evening of July 1 in all 17 neighborhoods. However, the atmosphere will be more festive and competitive in the contrade which are actually taking part in the race on the following day. 
For last minute neighborhood dinners ask at your hotel or explore your favorite contrade and ask around for available spaces.  

EMIGRATION VS. IMMIGRATION: A MEMORY OF ITALY IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR

the flyer of uno, nessuno, seicentomila



Understand a bit of Italian? This is the night to figure out how much regarding a topic that seems a bit removed but actually isn't at all.  Italy entered the first world war exactly a hundred years ago on the 24th of May 1915. 600'000 Italian soldiers died during the war. Many of them were 'Italians' born in Brasil or Argentina who traveled to Europe as young men to fight for a country they had never put foot on before. 150'000 of Italy's soldiers in the first world war had been born in Brazil, Argentina and other countries their parents had had to migrate to for a better future abroad. An important fact to consider when we read the daily headlines regarding todays incessantly growing immigration to Italy and Europe via Lybia. 

'La storia quasi vera del milite ignoto' is told by Emilio Franzina, the writer of the book with the same title, which tells the story of a young soldier born in Brasil to Italian parents of Venetian heritage. 

In case your Italian isn't quite there yet, just come for the musical interludes by the extremly talented four musicians and singer Sabrina Turri of Hotel Rif and for the beautiful ambiance in Siena's teatro dei Rozzi.  

LA STORIA QUASI VERA DEL MILITE IGNOTO WITH HOTEL RIF
MAY 24, 2015 - 9 pm. 
Teatro dei Rozzi, piazza Indipendenza 15, Siena. Entrance is for free. 

If you want to catch Hotel Rif on a lighter note visit Montalcino on Wednesday 27 for the band's sunset view concert in Sant'Angelo in Colle. 

MUSEUM NIGHT AT SIENA'S PINACOTECA: MAY 16, 2015

Often left out for Siena's more prominent museums in piazza del Campo or near the cathedral, the Pinacoteca is nevertheless one of my favorite sights in town. A visit in the quiet palazzo is a must for lovers of the Sienese school of painting. But you don't have to be into early Renaissance art to enjoy the lay-back atmosphere in the museum, which will be near empty even on a Sunday afternoon in high season.

It may be a little more crowded during the late night opening for this Saturday's museum night. But the panorama views over the medieval town from the upper floors should make up for it. 

Masterworks of the 16th century in Siena's Pinacoteca museum


Works by Duccio, Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers will guide you trough the 14th century, the golden years of painting in Siena, when the town was one of the foremost economic and artistic competitors of Florence. The works by Sano di Pietro and il Vecchietta are the local highlights of the 15th century, whilst Sodoma and Lorenzo Lotto represent the master painters of the 16th century in Siena. 

MUSEUM NIGHT IN SIENA - NOTTE DEI MUSEI, SATURDAY MAY 16, 2015

Pincacoteca nazionale di Siena, via San Pietro, 29. From 8pm to midnight (ticket office closes at 11.30 pm). Entrance is nearly free: 1 € per person (normally 4€ per person). 

Not in Siena? Check out all the national museums that will stay open for the museum night in the rest of Tuscany and Italy. 

For more art and culture in Palio town read this round up of Siena's best museums

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