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17 June 2020

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Ponte di mezzo
Lungarno Mediceo
56100 Pisa

The “Palio or Regatta di San Ranieri” is a rowing competition that takes place on the evening of June 17th, the feast of the patron Saint Rainerius. The race, preceded by a historic parade along the River Arno, takes place also on the Arno between four crews representing the four historic districts (San Francesco, San Martino, Santa Maria, Sant’Antonio). The boat of San Francesco is yellow, that of San Martino red, that of Santa Maria light blue, and that of S.Antonio green. Each crew is composed of 8 rowers, a helmsman, and a “fitter”; the latter has to climb up a ten-metre flagpole, placed at the finish line on a floating platform, and retrieve the flag that symbolizes the conquest of the “Paliotto”. This particular method of awarding victory is inspired by the battle of Lepanto in 1571, when the Christian troops, once boarded the Turkish flagship, seized the combat flag placed on the Muslim boat’s flagpole.