The Palio del Serafino

That drumroll
that initiates the show.

Every year, the second Sunday of August, in the early afternoon, the bell of the Tower of the Palazzo del Popolo strikes. The alleys of the Medieval town of Sarnano are filled with the sound of the drums announcing the arrival of the parade from the four districts: Abbadia, Brunforte, Castelvecchio and Poggio. That’s how the Palio del Serafino begins.

But let’s procede one step at a time: this story starts more than 700 years ago.

Palio del Serafino 2016

L'associazione Palio del Serafino conferma l'organizzazione dell'edizione 2017 del Palio, con Benedizione prevista per il giorno 12 Agosto e Palio per il 13 Agosto. All'inizio dell'attività del 2017, pubblichiamo il video del Palio 2016. Guardatelo, condividetelo e diffondetelo il più possibile... Le stupende immagini sono il nostro migliore biglietto da visita. Sarnano ed il Palio del Serafino non mollano!

Pubblicato da Palio del Serafino su Lunedì 13 marzo 2017

The roots of
the Palio del Serafino.

In 1265 Sarnano was declared independant. The first to move to the Castrum were the inhabitants of the districts of Brunforte, Castelvecchio and Poggio, and in the following years also those of Bisio and, finally, those of Piobbico. According to ancient testimonies, the tensions between the five districts were such that the Sarnanesi authorities decided to set up a competition to appease the friction between the inhabitants. The game was held every year for the occasion of the Festa dell’Assunta and included three games: the Palio, that is a horse race, the game of the ring, which consisted of threading a series of rings with a spear from a running horse, and shooting with a crossbow. In the days of the games the Podestà was replaced by the Captain of the Fair, also known as Captain of the People, who coordinated the captains of the single districts responsible for the public order and the good performance of the games.

In 1965, on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the independence of Sarnano, a group of citizens organized the reenactation of these ancient games under the name of Serafino d’oro, then changed into Palio del Serafino, in honour of the ancient legend of the coat of arms of Sarnano that bears an angel with six wings. However, times had changed and some adjustments were needed.
The districts of Piobbico and Bisio, which experienced depopulation more than others, were gathered in a single contrada named Abbadia. The original games, however, were replaced with activities inspired by popular traditions: tug-of-war, expressing the strength of the peasants and the hard work in the fields, the race with the jug, reminiscence of the ability of women to go and fetch water at the source carrying the jar on the head, climbing the pole, tied to the skill of our ancestors to climb trees, and the cut of the trunk, in honor of the ancient craft of the lumberjacks so widespread in our mountains.
For years the Palio del Serafino has excited generations of Sarnanesi and tourists, reaching, with some interruptions, its XXX edition, which will be held on August 11, 2019. The Solemn Blessing will take place on August 4, 2019.

The Palio del Serafino

What was once the solution to the internal tensions of a newborn municipality, is now the representation of life as it was.

The reenactation opens Sunday August 4, when a delegation of the districts goes to Piazza Alta to offer four candles to the Madonna Assunta and receive the priest’s solemn blessing.

In the afternoon of Sunday, August 11, accompanied by the drum roll of the Tamburini del Serafino, the pageant of the noble families of Abbadia, Brunforte, Castelvecchio and Poggio parades through the streets of the medieval town of Sarnano to the field of games where the competition takes place, interspersed with spectacular performances of the drummers “Tamburini del Serafino” and the flag-wavers of the Sestiere Sant’Emidio from Ascoli Piceno.

This year there will also be a delegation of characters from the group of historical commemorations of Vicopisano (PI) and Acquaviva Picena (AP).

The historical procession with its magnificent costumes, the jugglers and their performances still conquer the hearts of thousands of people that come each year to support their own district of provenance or adoption, following the race with bated breath.

This is the Palio del Serafino, a piece of our history, a remembrance full of enthusiasm, a flash of memories that every year becomes a spectacle, a competition, a celebration.

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