Il Bravìo delle Botti
The “Bravìo” is held on every last Sunday of August. Starting from 10 am in “Piazza Grande”, a series of impressive traditional ceremonies are hosted: the starting order of the barrels during the race is extracted by lot, followed by the typical “branding” of their wood; the districts unwind their flags, unavoidably accompanied by the solemn rhythm of drums; the Mayor delivers the cloth to the head of the “Magistrato of the Contrade”, an official handover that precedes the offer of votive candles to St. John in the Cathedral. In the afternoon, at 3 pm, the parade begins with its fascinating historical procession.
Finally, at 7 pm, after the signal given by the ringing of the City Hall bells, the barrels start rolling from the “Colonna del Marzocco”. After a few minutes the “Bravìo” is over; only one district can now celebrate the victory taking home the longed cloth. The other districts are already thinking about their future victories, without resentment or hostility of any kind, showing respect for the winner; a story that has been going on for over six hundred years.
Il Proclama del Gonfaloniere
Saturday 21st August: the “Week of Events” of the Bravìo delle Botti officially opens with the traditional “Proclama del Gonfaloniere”, marking the start of the challenge between Montepulciano’s eight districts.
Starting at 9:00 pm, the participants of each district will parade along the old town streets, starting at the “Colonna del Marzocco”, to then reach the main square: Piazza Grande. At 10 pm, the ceremony will continue with the reading of the “Proclama del Gonfaloniere”.
Afterwards, celebrations will continue with the flags and drums’ show by the “Gruppo Sbandieratori e Tamburini di Montepulciano” and the show “Shine” by Piccolo Nuovo Teatro company.