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Flag Parades

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Ballarat, Australia
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967 posts
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Flag Parades

Hi, I've been thinking it over and don't think we'll tackle the Palio for a number of reasons- mostly the time of year that we may not be able to get over in, and the crowd. (At 5ft tall, I'll either see nothing or be fenced in and panic!) Perhaps a DVD of it instead, but we'll probably still see Siena. I've been checking around and realise that Siena is not the only place with the flag parades (yes, there'll be a much more correct term for it!) and I'd really like to see one. Can anyone recommend anywhere else- and tell me times of the year- to still see an interesting parade?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Flag Parades

The flag tossing is always secondary to the main celebration. In Siena, the celebration is the horse race; in Arezzo, is the Joust of the Saracen; in Florence, it is a barefist football match; and so on. All of these events attract large crowds and they have the same problems as the Siena Palio.

Montepulciano, Italy
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2. Re: Flag Parades

We've seen this in the morning (around 9 ish) whilst walking around town on the days of the Palio trials. I don't know what they formally represent but, accompanied by the contrada band, you see the flag wavers of one contrada marching over to another before the two contradas meet and wave flags together. The trials for the Assumption Palio will be on the 13th, 14th, 15th August, more details below. It's easier to get into town on these days, there's still a fantastic atmosphere, yet it's far less crowded in Il Campo so you can, if you want, watch some horse racing in some degree of comfort, albeit only trials for big day. I took some photos of the third morning trials two years ago and few people looking at them would even realise it wasn't the main race itself. Great fun.


Edited: 27 July 2012, 12:06
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3. Re: Flag Parades

I enjoyed the information in your post. I am looking to take my two children, age 12 & 13 to the first day of the trials. We will be coming in from Florence for the day and staying until late night. I have inquired about tickets in an apartment to view the trials, they are fairly reasonable in price. Any advice, thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Will there still be shops and food and tourist sights open during the earlier part of the day? Should we stay for the dinner, as I can reserve tickets for that as well?

Thank you!

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Flag Parades

The whole town is hung with flags for at least a week before. You will hear drumming and see some flag throwing, but nothing like the parade itself. The trials are fiercely run and the contrade will be in the stands watching and singing. The centre is also quite packed with onlookers. But you wont get the rest of the parade.

On the actual Palio day the parade goes through the streets, then reassembles just before the campo is reached, so the parade can be watched in the streets as well as in the campo.

After that, TV gives the best view.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Flag Parades

If you get a chance, read "Seven Seasons in Siena" by Robert Rodi. It gives an insight in the Palio and the people of Siena. Another gathering is the "Calcio Storcio" in Florence. Google "Calcio Storcio" to get further information.

6. Re: Flag Parades

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