This year is the 40th edition of the Pescia Palio that on the 1st Sunday of September is disputed in the central piazza of the town of Valdinievole, in the province of Pistoia. Pescia, known throughout Italy as the city of flowers for its floral activities, wears a suggestive dress for this occasion with streets and piazzas in the historic centre embellished with the standards of the four Rioni that are competing, two on the left and two on the right of the Pescia stream that divides the town: Ferraia, S. Maria, S. Michele and S. Francesco. The event will take place from August 27 through September 3 with propitiatory ceremonies, musical and archery events, an historic parade and gastronomical evenings inspired by medieval flavours. The tradition has been recently rediscovered, but the origins of the Pescia Palio date back to the first half of the 1300s when the city came under Florentine dominion. After this event, the population decided to celebrate the patron saint of the city, Saint Dorothy, with religious and popular celebrations among which was the Palio dei Berberi that continued up to the beginning of the 1500s. In its modern edition, the competition is no longer done on horseback, but instead with bows and arrows. On the main day, September 3, after the benediction of the standards in the cathedral, there is the historic parade, made up of 600 people in costumes from the XIV and XV century that will meet in Piazza Grande to compete in the Palio.
Sunday, August 27
Opening of the events connected to the 40th Palio.
Starting in the morning: Piazza Mazzini will host a show about Pinocchio, with the characters of the book, entertainment for children, puppets, games and cotillons for everyone.
An event to celebrate arts and crafts has been organized with the collaboration of some local traders.
5 p.m. – The 15th “Palla al Paniere” Trophy will take place with competitions among teams of young representatives of each city quarter.
Musicians and flag bearers show of the groups of children representing the four districts.
Aperitif and dinner organized by the four districts.
9 p.m. – Final of the “Palla al Paniere” Trophy.
Monday, August 28, Tuesday 30, Wednesday 31, Thursday September 1
Propitiatory dinners for the four districts:
Monday 28th : Ferraia district
Tuesday 29th : S. Michele district
Wednesday 30th : S. Francesco district
Thursday 31st : S. Maria district.
Friday, September 1
8,30 p.m.: The blessing ceremonies of the Palio, the four competing Rioni and the banners will take place in the Cathedral of S. Stefano.
A historical parade will be held across the town to the arrival point in Piazza Mazzini.
After the parade, the Palio presentation ceremony will take place, with the extractions of the straw targets, the archers, and the shooting positions.
Show of musicians and flag bearers. Afterwards designation of the “Dama of Pescia” (this year belonging to the S. Francesco district) who will participate in the 18th edition of “La Bellezza e l’ Eleganza della Donna nel Medioevo e nel Rinascimento”(Female Beauty and Elegance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance).
Various shows and entertainments during the evening.
Saturday, September 2
9 p.m. Piazza Mazzini: Presentation of the 18th Edition of “La Bellezza e l’Eleganza della Donna nel Medioevo e nel Rinascimento” (Beauty and Elegance of Women in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance). In case of bad weather, the event will take place in the sports hall.
Sunday , September 3
In the morning: Piazza Mazzini – Medieval siege machines will be exhibited by the “Pro loco” of Larciano. There will be a campsite with tents belonging to the Casina Rossa quarter of Montecatini Terme.
For all children, from Collodi Park, Pinocchio intervenes with characters, animations and puppets, games and cotillons for everyone.
There will also be stands of ancient arts and crafts works.
2.45 p.m. Historical parade across the town centre to Piazza Mazzini.
5 p.m. Piazza Mazzini – Opening of the “40th Palio Città di Pescia: the winning district will be awarded the “Cencio 2017” made by Adriano Esposito and entitled “Pescia e le sue Castella: Stiappa”. The extraction of lottery tickets associated to each district will take place.
Starting at 7.00 p.m. “Il Palio a tavola” – Dinner in Piazza del Grano
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