Barrel Race “Bravìo delle Botti” – Montepulciano
August 19 to 26, one week of events and the 26 the race among Montepulciano districts
On August 26th 2018, Montepulciano presents the traditional barrel race called “Bravìo delle Botti”, an historical reenactment of an old competition among the eight town districts, now in its 45th edition. Where the winner was once determined by a horse race, nowadays it’s resolved by a barrel (Botti) race.
But the barrrel race Bravìo delle Botti is just the conclusion of a week of events and preparation for the eight districts of the town.
People interested in following the whole feast, from 19 August can see the night trials of the pushers of the barrels, and August 23 can attend at the evocative Processione dei Ceri.
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 in Piazza Grande 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 a uphill slope and through the fascinating roads of the historical centre. The arrival of the Barrel Race is once again on the Cathedral’s parvil 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 unique 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