Barrel Race “Bravìo delle Botti” – Montepulciano
August 18 to 25, one week of events and the race among Montepulciano districts
From August 18th to 25th, 2019 Montepulciano hosts a week of events culminating the last Sunday of August (this year August 25th) with the traditional “Bravio delle Botti“, (a barrel race) arrived this year at its 46th edition
The week of festivities is the week of work-out for the final race which is a challenge between the 8 Montepulciano districts, once competing with horses and today with barrels.
People interested in following the whole feast can attend from Monday at night trials of the barrel pushers, and on Thursday at the evocative Candles’ Procession of the Candles.
During the week the town is animated by food and wine stands and various entertainments.
The Sunday of the Bravìo delle Botti’s dispute begins with the extraction of the starting positions. Subsequently, the standard-bearers and reenactors of every district, more than 300 in total, leave the Municipal Building, so that the barrel-fire-branding and the banner waving can begin on the parvis of the Cathedral.
The barrels, which weigh is about 80 kg each, are rolled by two athletes for each district, the so-called “spingitori” (pushers) along with an uphill slope and through the fascinating roads of the historical center. The arrival of the Barrel Race is in front of the Cathedral, in Piazza Grande.
The history of the Bravìo dates back to the end of the XIV century, specifically to 1373, when the Municipal Statute determined the Palio (prize) rules. The Bravio delle Botti seems to have been established in honor of San Giovanni Decollato, patron saint of Montepulciano, celebrated on August 29th.
The Bravìo horse race occured until the XVII century, and was abolished for public order reasons.
The recent history of the Bravio starts in 1974, when Father Marcello Del Balio had the idea of transforming the old horse race into a barrel race.
In 2011, the Bravio delle Botti in Montepulciano was recognized by the Italian Tourism Ministry as one of the events that better represents and promotes its local history and traditions, giving value to the Italian artistic, cultural and historical heritage.
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Photo source: the official website and facebook page of the event.Go to the website Barrel Race “Bravìo delle Botti” – Montepulciano