Emotional afternoon for Montepulciano on Sunday, 21st August: this year’s prize for the barrel race – a handmade painted cloth dedicated to the Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy, painted by Cesare Olmastroni – was presented on the stage of the “Teatro Poliziano”. The painting was presented by the famous Siena’s artist in the presence of the head of the “Magistrato delle Contrade”, Giulio Pavolucci, the mayor of Montepulciano, Andrea Rossi, and the municipal representative, Stefano Bazzoni.

“This year’s Bravìo will be characterized by both traditional aspects and unexpected news.” said Giulio Pavolucci – Many thanks go to all the “contradaioli”, as these achievements can only be accomplished by teaming up. In these three years we have tried to make every decision with everyone’s support, since the event belongs to Montepulciano’s people and their satisfaction is our main goal.”

This is Cesare Olmastroni’s second cloth: after painting two rags for the “Palio di Siena” and after a long-lasting cooperation with famous artists, Olmastroni painted last year’s Bravìo delle Botti cloth as well, dedicated that time to World War I. The cloth was displayed in “Piazza Grande” at the end of the show at the Poliziano theatre, accompanied by the suggestive performance of Montepulciano’s famous Flag Wavers and Drummers

The afternoon also revealed who won the longed for “Grifo Poliziano”, a prize awarded every year to a personality or product that stood up for their commitment in the enhancement of Montepulciano in an international background. This year the award was given to “Vino Nobile”, an excellent product of the area, in honour of the 50 years since the achievement of the DOCG denomination. The prize was collected by the vice president Fabrizio Sallusti, representing the “Consorzio del Vino Nobile”.

With the occasion, the new historical parade costumes commissioned by the “Magistrato delle Contrade” were presented as well. The costume and set designer Noemie Grottini, who can claim numerous partnerships with the “Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte” of Montepulciano and who has carried out a thoughtful historical and artistic research in making the sketches of the new costumes, presented her work.

Finally, another appointment that has become an established tradition: the fourteenth edition of the food and wine competition “A Tavola con il Nobile” – namely “At the table with the Nobile wine” – organized by the “Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano”. This year the competition subject was “game animals”, and the dishes prepared by the eight Contrade were judged by a specialized jury of international journalists and food bloggers chaired by Sandro Capitani. The testimonial of this year’s contest, the radio journalist Federico Quaranta, presented the prize to Collazzi, the district that gained a first place with a delicious “Fruity Quail”.

The first weekend of Bravìo 2016 ends with great appreciation by both tourists and locals: the tension for the race – to be held on Sunday, 28th August along the city streets – is already rising. Throughout the week, until Friday 26th August, the night rehearsal sessions of the barrel pushers will take place from the “Colonna del Marzocco”, while districts will remain open with their typical food stands. Here it will also be possible to taste the delightful dishes that took part in the competition “A Tavola con il Nobile”.

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