The Palio of San Rocco returns to the town of Figline Valdarno in the Chianti hills once again this year. This traditional event takes place from August 30th to September 3rd, immersing residents and visitors in a typical Tuscan medieval and Renaissance atmosphere.
A Brief History
The Palio of San Rocco dates back to 1414. During the Festa del Perdono, a horse race was held in Piazza Ficino. Flanked by religious rites and processions, this festival’s competitors were the Figlinese nobles. The tradition survived until 1600, until it was interrupted due to the disorder it created. From that moment it transformed into knightly jousting consisting of the knights’ ability to center a ring placed on a target. The event made a comeback in the recent 1970’s, but not without some changes. The Palio is a highly-anticipated event for the locals as well as the region.
Program of Events
Friday 30 August
8:45 pm – The first day of the event begins with a procession, which goes from Piazza San Francesco to the Collegiate. The flag-wavers of the Florentine Borghi and Sestieri will also participate in this event through the streets of the town.
Saturday 31 August
9 pm – The flag-wavers of the Florentine Borghi and Sestieri take to the streets to perform. Followed by the historical reenactment on floats of the various districts
Sunday 1st September
5 pm – The districts will compete in Piazza Marsilio Ficino in the Corsa delle Bigonce
6 pm – Also in Piazza Marsilio Ficino, the Palio del Carretto will take place
9:30 pm – The contrade will participate in the fourth race valid for the victory of the Palio with the Tire alla Fune. (Piazza Marsilio Ficino)
Tuesday 3 September
9 pm – Historical parade of the districts
9:30 pm – Fifth and last race valid for the awarding of the prize: Palio horse race
You can stay up to date on the event by following their Facebook page.
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photo credits: visittuscany.com; valdarno24.it; prolocofigline.it