The Palio di Fucecchio, True Passion
Fucecchio! Here's the program of the Palio delle Contrade Città di Fucecchio 2023 "extended" week
The Palio di Fucecchio will take place on Sunday, the 21st of May 2023
Ph: Alfredo Sabatini
The Palio di Fucecchio is one of the main events in our town. 12 "contrade", city wards or districts in which the city is divided, compete to gain the "cencio" (drap) in "palio" (up for grabs) in "Buca del Palio". The 12 contrade are: Borgonovo, Botteghe, Cappiano, Ferruzza, Massarella, Porta Bernarda, Porta Raimonda, Querciola, Samo, San Pierino, Sant'Andrea and Torre. Each contrada has its own two color combination and emblem. When walking or driving in Fucecchio you can tell where you are just looking at the flags displayed along the streets.
"THE" Palio Sunday, with the parade and the race, is the culmination of months of preparation, made of late night meetings, time taken from family and jealously guarding the theme of the parade. This is the perfect ending for a week lived to the fullest.
This is the schedule for Palio delle Contrade Città di Fucecchio 2023:
PALIO IN GIOCO
Young contradaioli are the future of Palio di Fucecchio. At 10:30 there is a school children parade in Corso Matteotti (starting from Piazza La Verginen and ending in Piazza Montanelli). Throughout the day "mercatino della Contrade" (market of the districts) in Piazza Montanelli, street market in Via Landini Marchiani and Viale Buozzi, the shops are open and there is a drawing and painting exhibition at Bombicci Gardens. Starting from 15.00, there are medieval games for children of Contrade in Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Awards cerimony for all the participants and "merenda" (snack) with the basket of good flavors at Bombicci Gardens.
PRESENTAZIONE DEL CENCIO (presentation of the banner, or the rag)
Ph: Alessio Pacini In the magical atmosphere of Piazza Vittorio Veneto from 9 PM a small parade of each of the districts preceedes the presentation of the Cencio 2020.
In the magical atmosphere of Piazza Vittorio Veneto starting from 9 pm, there will be a parade of the districts and the presentation of the "Cencio" (rag) for 2023. The presentation of the "Cencio," created by a different Tuscan artist each year, is preceded by a small parade of each district from the Civic Museum of Fucecchio to the steps in front of the Collegiate Church of San Giovanni Battista. Once all the representations of the various districts are arranged on the steps, the order of the historical procession on Sunday morning is drawn at random. The presentation of the "Cencio" is experienced with great enthusiasm by the people of Fucecchio. Everyone crowds together as close as possible, trying to touch the "Cencio" with a scarf in the colors of their district, in order to bring good luck.
LA TRATTA DEI CAVALLI (horse lottery)
Ph: Toti Volpes
All the districts converge in Piazza Montanelli starting from 9 pm for the appointment with Fortune, with the allocation of horses to the districts. This evening is another evocative and deeply felt moment for the people of Fucecchio. In the days and hours before, a special committee selects 12 horses from a much larger group. Some years the level of the horses is more balanced, while in others there are greater differences in the physical characteristics and experiences of the various equines. Everyone longs for "il Cavallone", the horse considered the strongest of the group. From the moment the district-horse combination is drawn, the animal is kept as the most precious of possessions, never left alone and always watched over and pampered by the "barbaresco" and the members of the district. In the following days, there are tests with jockeys and horses at the "Buca del Palio. In the following days, there are riding tests with jockeys and horses at Buca del Palio.
LA FIRMA DEI FANTINI
From 11.00, registration of jockeys to the next day's race. The ceremony is held outdoor, in the beautiful setting of the historic Parco Corsini or at Cinema Nuovo Teatro Pacini if it rains.
The Sunday, the 21st of May 2023 the Palio will take place.
LA SFILATA STORICA (the historical parade)
A 1200 persons strong pegeant parades along the streets of Fucecchio. One of the most beautiful parades in Tuscany and it is not a formally choreographed triumphal march. Each contrada has its own flag-bearers and musicians and every year find a different theme, a historical reenactment. The route of the parade starts at 9.30 from Piazza Aldo Moro, then Via Roma, Via Cairoli, Piazza Montanelli, Corso Matteotti, Via Lamarmora, Piazza Niccolini, Borgo Valori, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Via San Giovanni, Via San Giorgio and ends in Via Castruccio Castracani. And all of this is just the prelude to the afternoon race.
I took part twice in the parade of the districts of the Palio of Fucecchio. Here I am portrayed in my "spanditora" dress during the preparations for the 2015 parade.
LA CORSA DEI CAVALLI (the horse race)
A culmination of a week full of emotions, THE race, which includes two batteries and a final on bareback horses at "Buca del Palio", in Viale Fratelli Rosselli.
Tickets (to be confirmed)
Ticket prices: 18,- € lawn. Free admission for those under 12 and persons with disabilities.
Pre-sales online and in Fucecchio at: Tabacchi Borghi in piazza Montanelli, Bar Airone in viale Cristoforo Colombo, Isibar in viale Antoni Gramsci and The Bar at Coop supermarket in Fucecchio.