In the Middle Ages, Siena was partitioned into seventeen neighborhoods. Each one was represented by an unique emblem and a colorful banner. These neighborhoods developed a tradition of fierce rivalry that continues today as The Palio, a competitive bareback horse race that takes place on July 2 and August 16 every year in the city's main piazza Piazza del Campo in honor of the Virgin Mary.
The Contrade are: Eagle, Snail, Wave, Panther, Forest, Tortoise, Owl, Unicorn, Shell, Tower, Ram, Caterpillar, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, She-Wolf, Goose (aquila, bruco, chiocciola, civetta, drago, giraffa, istrice, leocorno, lupa, montone, nicchio, oca, onda, pantera, selva, tartufa, torre.)
Istrice occupies the north-westernmost edge of Siena and contains the San Vincenzo e Anastasio church, home of the city's oldest surviving fresco and burial place of Pinturicchio. Istrice's symbol is a porcupine. Its colours are red, white, blue and black. Its motto is: "Sol per difesa io pungo" (I prick only for self-defense). Istrice has the title of contrada sovrana (sovereign contrada). It was bestowed this title as a result of it headquartering the Sovereign Military Order of Malta during the 14th century.
F.lli Mari Maioliche is the only company in Deruta authorized to reproduce the Palio decorations. If you check under every pieces, you will see this logo and the the written Consorzio Tutela Palio di Siena. F.lli Mari Maioliche is the only in Deruta associated with this consortium.
Colors may vary. Colors in photograph are close but may not represent true colors.
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Dinner Plate (11") - 1
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