Palio of the districts (contrade) | Buti
Centro storico Buti
centro, piazze e luoghi limitrofi
Info: 388 758 3081
Valdera Tourist Office
The Palio delle Contrade, which has been the main folkloristic event in Buti for 59 years, is centered on a horse race led by jockeys who, representing the seven districts (contrade) in which the small town of Buti is divided, compete in a race whose scenario is the main access road to the town.
Together with the Palio of Siena and the Palio of Asti, it is one of the oldest horse Palios in Italy. It is chronologically the first Palio to be held in Tuscany. The race was recently added a historical parade in costume.
Like every Palio, the Palio of the Contrade of Buti, in its current version dating back to 1961 but with roots that refer to horse races already attested since 1848, involves the entire population in a visceral participation. It is useful to take a few careful steps through the narrow streets of the historic center to feel the passion. And to do so, it is advisable not to limit oneself to being a mere spectator of the race, but to follow every detail of an authentic ritual that begins a few days before with itinerant dinners, useful to warm up the atmosphere among the contradaioli, with a scenographic historical parade, which echoes of ancient, noble pasts among ladies, knights and notables, and the day of the race.
A festival that takes place every year in January on the Sunday following the 17th, the feast of Sant’Antonio Abate, protector of animals. The 7 Contrade and their colors: Pievania: blue crossed with white, San Francesco: yellow black, San Nicolao: white black, San Rocco: white red, Ascensione: green black, Case La Croce: red black, San Michele: red green
The programme of the Palio di Buti starts Saturday afternoon with the presentation of the horsemen in Piazza Garibaldi. The big day is Sunday: 8am traditional tripe breakfast in the contrade, 9.45 historical reenactment with a parade in costume, followed by the Blessing of the horses and the investiture of the horsemen, and at 2pm the actual Palio delle Contrade di Buti race along the town’s main road. The race track is about 750 metres long. After the race comes the award ceremony with the winner receiving the Cencio.