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Palio di Siena

By Ceramiche Fratelli Mari

First held in 1656, The Palio di Siena, otherwise known as "Il Palio", is onepaliodinnerware.jpg of the oldest and most famous horseraces. This competitive bareback horserace occurs twice a year on July 2 and August 16 on The Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy to honor The Virgin Mary.

In the Middle Ages, Siena was partitioned into Contrade (neighborhoods). Each Contrada was represented by an unique emblem and a colorful banner. These neighborhoods developed a tradition of fierce rivalry that continues today as the Palio. Originally there were fify-nine Contrade. Today there are only seventeen. Ten Contrade participate in each Palio (seven are chosen by right and three drawn by lots).

The Contrade were further identified by which of Terziere they belonged to. Siena was divided into three sections - Terziere di Citta, Terziere di San Martino and Terziere di Camollia.

Terziere di Citta - Aquila (Eagle), Chiocciola (Snail), Onda (Wave), Pantera (Panther), Selva (Forest) and Tartuca (Tortoise).

Terziere di San Martino - Civetta (Owl), Leocorno (Unicorn), Nicchio (Shell), Torre (Tower), Montone (Ram).

Terziere di Camollia - Bruco (Caterpillar), Dragon (Dragon). Giraffa (Giraffe), Istrice (Porcupine), Lupa (She-Wolf), Oca (Goose).

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 written Consorzio Tutela Palio di Siena. F.lli Mari Maioliche is the only in Deruta associated with this consortium.