A real Palio, Il Palio del Velluto, this weekend in Leonessa

Il Palio del Velluto is on this weekend in Leonessa, in the province of Rieti, near the borders with Umbria and Abruzzo. This annual "Velvet Contest" is an historical eight day commemoration of Saint Peter (the Fiera di San Pietro). The Palio del Velluto takes its name from the local weaving style and was held from at least 1464 until 1557, when the event was abolished by the local Governor after a dispute that resulted in four deaths. Mercifully though, things are a little more civilized nowadays, and the games are back on.

The games are fought between the six quarters of the city - corno (horn), croce (cross), forcamelone, poggio, terzone, and torre (Tower). In addition, there are various music and dance performances, concerts, taverns with dishes of the day, jugglers and other street performers throughout the city to evoke the atmosphere of 16th century.

All in all, a great day out! For more information, click through to their website, or download this PDF of the schedule.

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