“Palio dei barchini con le ruote” – The “punt with wheels” race, 33rd edition | Castelfranco di Sotto
14 June 2020
Centro storico Castelfranco di Sotto
Corso Remo Bertoncini
56022 Castelfranco di Sotto
The race, which assigns the traditional “cencio” (banner, cloth), involves three laps around Piazza Garibaldi using small boats. The “barchini”, about 3.50 m long and weighing between 65 and 75 kg, were once used in the marshy areas around the town. Today, they include four wheels with a diameter of about 25 cm fitted with pneumatic tires: the front wheels swivel, while the rear wheels are fixed. On the punt are two rowers, who push it with the traditional chestnut wood rods at the end of which a rubber pad is placed to favour adhesion with the asphalt. The features of the vehicles and the performance make the race one of its kind. The ‘contrade’ competing are four: San Michele in Caprugnana, San Martino in Catiana, San Bartolomeo a Paterno, San Pietro a Vigesimo. The event, preceded by costumed events, remembers the ‘renaioli’, workers who, dredging the River Arno, gathered sand to use for new buildings.