“Tonna” in Civita di Bagnoregio
In June and September, donkey race in the small square of Civita, the “dying town”
Twice a year (in June and in September) Civita di Bagnoregio, in the province of Viterbo, hosts “Palio della Tonna”, an old race similar to Siena’s Palio. Here, however, the race course is very small and donkeys are ridden instead of horses. Everything else is basically the same: jockeys ride bareback and 3 laps must be done. But there is also another difference: only two donkeys can run at the same time, because the race course is very narrow and there is not enough room for all of them.
The stars of the competition are undoubtedly the donkeys, that during the race do whatever they want: they stop, graze, kick. People cheer and have a good time.
After the race, it is also possible to visit the beautiful village of Civita.
Tonna’s Palio is still a very popular festival among the inhabitants of the village (about 15 people) and the surroundings that are trying to keep this tradition alive despite the tragic fate that awaits Civita. A sign at the entrance of the village says, “Civita, the town that is dying”. The entire village is located atop a plateau of friable volcanic tuff and it is thus in constant danger of destruction as the edges of the plateau collapse due to erosion.
Civita di Bagnoregio is candidate for recognition as UNESCO World Heritage site.
Discover the other Unesco sites in Lazio region >>>
Photos from Wikipedia and website of the event