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.)
Nicchio is situated in the far eastern corner of the Siena. Traditionally, its residents worked as potters. Nicchio's symbol is a crowned scallop shell flanked by two branches of coral. Its colours are blue, with yellow and red trim. Nicchio is one of only four nobile (noble) contrade; it earned its title for bravery shown during the Battle of Montaperti against Florence in 1260, when its soldiers led the attack.
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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