Event details
Date: September 1, 2022
Location: Chiesa della Maestà del Ponte
Address: Via Lauretana Montepulciano Stazione

On Sunday September 4th, starting at 3:30 p.m., the afternoon will be dedicated to the 39th edition of the Palio dei Somari [Donkey race] in Montepulciano Stazione. The race heats start at around 5:30 p.m. and end with the final race at around 7:00 p.m.
This race is very important for the community as it is one of the oldest traditions they have; it dates back to the 1600’s, when a horse race was held near the Church [Chiesa della Maestà del Ponte].

The race takes place in a very light-hearted atmosphere and is always characterized by a great respect for the friendly jockeys. In fact, any form of violence, even minimal, results in immediate disqualification and is banned throughout the event. During the race, the 6 districts [rioni] of Montepulciano Stazione: Aventino, Stazione, Fontago, Corbaia, Macchia and Maestà del Ponte, all compete against each other for the coveted cloth prize. There is also a quasi-novelty this year: for the third time in 39 years, a very young female jockey will try to win the race.

The rule of “not forcing” the donkey to do anything, means the animal is free to do exactly what it wishes: from screeching to a halt in the middle of the track, walking in the wrong direction, trotting, simply walking or even stopping to graze. All this to the sounds of cheers and laughter of those watching; which is the only real aim of the reenactment. The day of the Donkey race is preceded by three days of different enjoyable events, dancing and good food.

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