The Palio dei Somari [Run of the Donkeys] is definitely the celebration par excellence of the Torrita people, which in 1966 created a festival in honor of Saint Joseph, patron saint of carpenters (a professional category that is particularly active in this village). The festival, dedicated both to the saint worker, and to the humble and docile animal, was born with the intention to enhance two fundamental components of human work: effort and simplicity. So, since the first edition (held on the occasion of the St. Joseph day), it is precisely him to be painted on any palio. Chasing the palio (i.e., according to the Siena tradition, an embroidered tapestry) are the 8 districts of Torrita di Siena: Porta a Pago, Porta Sole, Porta Gavina, Porta Nova, la Fonte, Stazione, Refenero and Cavone.
Each of these has its own color, its emblem, and its impeccable vintage clothing, inspired by the mid-fifteenth century. Besides, the event in itself is inserted into a wider program of celebrations consisting of various initiatives and aggregation moments, such as the public opening of the taverns of the old town, the draw and pair of the heats to the presence of the Mayor and the Presidents of the districts, theater performances, themed conferences and exhibitions, and propitiatory dinners in the headquarters of the districts.
This year the Palio dei Somari will extraordinary take place from the 21th to the 29th of May.
Full program will be announced soon on www.paliodeisomari.it
[Photo credis Marco Mazzolai]