A Palio in Memory of a Hard Won Victory
The Palio dei Terzieri evokes the city's darkest hour, way back in 1214, when troops sent from Spoleto by Duke Theopold brutally sacked the city. Encouraged by Pope Innocent III, the citizens of Trevi immediately regained possession of their lands. As an evocation of the tenacity and valour behind this event, the Palio dei Terzieri was instituted in 1980.
How and When
At Trevi, the first Sunday in October.
Three carts, representing the city's three Terzieri quarters (Castello, Matiggia and Piano), race along an 800-metre stretch from Porta Nuova along the ancient fortifications to the centre of town in Piazza del Comune. The carts are not allowed to weigh over 430 kilos and must have no steering. Only young men who are resident in Trevi are allowed to pull them.
A wooden bust of a Saracen, called "la Mora", is erected in Piazza del Comune. The single person (known as 'balio') to complete the last section of the race must wrench free the key to the tower from the bust and sound the bell symbolising that the city has been reconquered.
Each Terziere puts forward twenty young men for the race. These take turns to push or pull the carts. Victory is awarded to the Terziere that has completes the race fastest and with the fewest fouls.
On the Saturday evening before the Palio a historic parade in Medieval costume takes place in the city's three streets. The over 500 extras that take part in the procession end up in Piazza del Comune, where the Capitano del Popolo summons the city's three Priori and draws lots to decide the starting order in the Palio.
Anyone wishing to visit the city during the Palio is advised to book in at the Il Terziere hotel restaurant in Via Salerno 1 Trevi
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