This is certainly a village festival, this tradition routes from the Torritese people who from birth feel joined to their contrada where they were born. Over the last few years the Palio has become an event of particular tourist interest that attracts thousands of visitors who apart from enjoying the race itself the visitors participate actively in the characterised life of the contrada. The medieval customs gives this festival a unique atmosphere, where each figure and every person dress solely in medieval apparel.

The various initiatives, which take place in the month of March but are also presented throughout the year, have contributed to the widening of the recreational and festive sphere which sees the Palio firstly as an historic event but also offers the opportunity for people to re-live ancient customs. The tourists are offered the chance to delve into a piece of history and are also offered the chance to experience traditional and typical products produced in the area.

The Palio of Somari is the festival of excellence for the Torritese population.

Born in 1966 through initiatives of a group of Torritesi who wanted to create a popular festival in honour of Saint Joseph (The Patron Saint of the Carpenters), and since in Torrita of Siena the working of the wood was and is today an activity which is very popular and widespread. The name Palio of Somari was an adapt name for the festival which is in honour to Saint Joseph, who is also known as the Working Saint.

The Festival was in fact to combine two components: work and simplicity. The first edition started on 19th March 1966 (Saint Joseph’s day) it is in fact Saint Joseph who is painted in each Palio.
Sienese tradition requires, the Palio is competed for by the eight Contradas of Torrita di Siena: Porta a Pago, Porta a Sole, Porta Gavina, Porta Nova, Le Fonti, Stazione, Refenero and Cavone.
Each contrade have their own colours, coat of arms, and its own characters, which consists of a  Lady, a Prince, an Ensign, flag-wavers, drummers and others characters impeccably dressed in rich costumes of the Middle age period of the Fifteenth Century.

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Starting from the fist week in March it is possible to feel the atmosphere and the anticipation of the Palio: each day that passing bringing the day of the Palio of Torrita closer the sun shines ever more brightly and the flags of the various different contrada's fly high in the ancient streets which are filled with the sounds of drums.

The week before the Palio is a special week for Torrita, rich of events. In previous periods the historic town centre has been the hub of excitement and entertainment from medieval dances, duel combat between honourable knights, Exhibitions of archery, the flying of the falcons and itineraries that shows typical figures in the medieval times that were in the public squares and courts like jugglers,  jesters and singers. Also in these days there is the opening of the 4 tavern, called respectively Nencia, Ponticino, Ghino and Pagone managed by the eight contrada's, where it is possible to taste the specialties of Tuscany, such as Pici of Valdichiana or Beef steak and to see the presentation of the Palio which is fabric with the historic characteristics painted on it, this fabric must have certain images painted on them for example the image of Saint Joseph.

Some of the most famous painters that have painted the Palio of Torrita have been painters such as Pauls, Pogni, Bedeschi Censini, Cantini….. The painter who till now has painted the greater number of Palii is Giuliano Censini, Torritese Painter of great reputation, he is also the author of the ‘Bellisimo Palio Straordinario’ translated means Extraordinary Beautiful Palio  of June 2006, dedicated to Saint Costanzo, Patron Saint of Torrita.

An event which is not to be missed is the ‘festivity of the flag’, which takes place the Sunday before the Palio, where Bands and drummers from across the whole of Italy are present.

Porta a Sole

Porta Nova Porta a Gavina

Porta a Pago



Stazione Cavone

The territory of this Contrada was crossed in roman age from the Chiusi-Florence feature of the old Cassia Adrianea, this is an important roman road, restored by the emperor Adrian. In the medieval age, not far from the Adrianea existed the Port of Torrita constructed towards the half of XIV century in the bank of palude chianina. This was very important not only for the local economy but also for the Republic of Siena presumably for military scopes.
Colours: White - Red - Blue.
Coat of arms: Dog - Wolf with torch

Gavina Door was constructed after the stipulated peace of 1208 between Siena and Florence. The original structure was constructed from a Door with a space between the inner and outer door which to this day is still visible. The outer door rose in the medieval ages to an external village outside of the Castle. Of this door part was destroyed in 1353, which can be found in the representation by Lippo Vanni, ‘Sala del Mappamondo a Siena’ translated as Map of the world to Siena. It was in the woods surrounding this door that in the June of 1544, was nailed an old torritese lady called "Nencia", who refused to courtesy at the request of the conquerors of Torrita.
Colours: Red - Black.
Coat of arms: One Wolf

On the territory of the Contrada of the Cavone there is little historical information. One only knows that towards the half of the 600 existed a small Church in the Romitorio locality dedicated to Saint Michele Arcangelo and Saint Antonio. The official colours of the Contrada are White and Green that adapts to the colours of the Tuscan countryside. Its coat of arms is represented by a Dragon, iconic symbol legacy Michele Archangel, known as the adversary of the Dragon.
Colours: White - Green.
Coat of arms: Dragon

The most recent door of the Torritesi Doors: it was opened in 1836 when Camarlingo was the community of the Torrita doctor Gaudenzio Batignani. In the inside of the Contrada exists a palace of particular importance, it seems the palace was one of the homes, at the beginning of the XVI century to the Dictator of the Republic Senese, Pandolfo Petrucci. It was not only used as a dwelling for pleasure, but also to escape some difficult situations in which he could find himself in when in Siena.
Colours: White - Black.
Coat of arms: One Tower

The origin of this name is legacy to the existence of a perennial font, the tradition was dedicated to the God Giano.  It is in fact the person represented by the contrada with the colours in red and white and the coat of arms is the flag of the Contrada. Around 1660 in front of the place where the font is placed was constructed a church that, following the finding of an image of the Madonna near the same font was called Madonna of the font.
Colours: White - Red.
Coat of arms: Two-faced Giano

the origin of this name is probably tied to the hill with Ascianello and its construction can be traced back to the beginning of XIII century. The part of walls castellane where the door open is the part that has conserved better maintaining many of its original features. It is from this door that the Senese guards escaped composing of three hundred arquebus that defended Torrita in one of its last battles, abandoning the Torritesi to their fate.
Colours: Red - Green.
Coat of arms: One hand in the action to pay

Uncertain of the origins of the name of this Contrada, situated on the top of one hill to Levant of the Castle of Torrita. Among the few ancient testimonies that still to this day can be found, remains an old construction called "Il Palazzetto" that according to tradition, was the residence in remote times to the power of this earth. In the territory of this Contrada an ancient village known as "San Martino"  whose name derives from an antique church which today does not exist.
Colours: White - Celestial.
Coat of arms: A Lion and three ears

the origins of this name is attributed due to the particular position of the Door that, turned to east (and therefore to the Sun)  expresses the ideal conception which the antique people saw of particular importance, the coordination between the celestial time and the city and therefore between the influences of the stars and the destiny of men. It was these particular walls of the door that in June 1554 yield to the fire of artillery of the imperial army, under the command of the poliziano Vincenzo Nobili.
Colours: Yellow - Blue.
Coat of arms: An arch and a bright Sun



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