Sunday, May 23, 2010

Palio Parade

Just a regular Saturday night in Ferrara...
It is Palio time! The Palio is an ancient competition between the eight neighborhoods that has happened here every year since 1259. Did you get that? EVERY year for over 700 years.
The actual competition is running races and horse races and takes place next weekend, but there have been events leading up to this every weekend for a month.

Last night was the Palio parade where each of the competing contradas (neighborhoods) marched in their medieval atttire complete with drums, trumpets, etc. This was not some cheesey medieval festival... it has been done this way for hundreds of years and it was so amazing to see them in costume marching down a 500 year old cobblestone street.

Each neighborhood wore their colors and marched from the city gate to the castle. The costumes were fabulous, right down to hair and make-up. In true Italian fashion the parade started at 9:00 p.m. and lasted almost 2 hours. The party continued well into the night as the contradas returned to their neighborhoods complete with drums and trumpets way past midnight. Horns honking, people shouting in Italian... we didn't sleep much but we had a blast. Check out the video...


  1. Unreal - I had not heard about this event. Thanks for sharing and please post after the actual event.

  2. I LOVE reading your blog and look forward to each Monday when you update. What great memories you are making!

  3. I love that you both always comment! Makes writing more fun :-)

  4. Do your Italian friends know the English word "amazing" yet? There are so many amazing things about northern Italy that surely they need to add that word to their vocabulary -- to compete with meraviglioso!