Emotions and moments of emotion in the afternoon of 20 August at the Poliziano Theater: in the traditional appointment on the Sunday before the Bravìo delle Botti the cloth painted by Luca Pollai was unveiled, dedicated to the 700 years since the death of Sant’Agnese, co-patron of Montepulciano. The cloth will be the coveted trophy that will win the winning district of Bravìo delle Botti 2017, at the end of the race which will take place on Sunday 27 August.

Luca Pollai is at his first cloth, but he is the son of another Sienese painter, Enzo Pollai, already author of the Panno del Bravìo delle Botti of 1996 and last year he painted the cloth of the Palio di Siena. Before the unveiling, the painter of the cloths of the 2015 and 2016 editions, the master Cesare Olmastroni, who passed away during the spring, was honored with a moving memory. A figure particularly appreciated by the community, who had become popular with the world of the districts for his sympathy and his artistic humanity, so much so that the Municipal Administration of Montepulciano decided to dedicate a permanent prize to his memory, due to the sketch considered particularly valuable and close to the artistic vision of the master Olmastroni. The first edition of this new award, in the presence of Cesare Olmastroni’s son, Duccio, was won by Tommaso Andreini, one of the favorite pupils of the late Sienese painter.

Other important ceremonies took place on the stage of the Theater, including the delivery of the “Grifo Poliziano”, the prize awarded to personalities who distinguished themselves for their commitment to the promotion of Montepulciano internationally. The award was given to Riccardo Pizzinelli, president of the Poliziana Historical Society and of the Ecclesiastical Work of Montepulciano, engaged in the enhancement of important historical and architectural works such as the Temple of San Biagio.

Following a line drawn since last year, also during this edition further new costumes of the public procession were presented, commissioned by the Magistrate of the Contrade to the costume designer and set designer Noemi Grottini, former collaborator of the Cantiere Internazionale D’Arte of Montepulciano.

Finally, another highly anticipated appointment, now in its fifteenth edition, was the food and wine competition “A Tavola con il Nobile”, organized by the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. This year the theme of the competition, which saw the challenge between the eight districts, was a first course based on pecorino cheese. The recipes were judged by a jury of international journalists and food bloggers chaired by Bruno Gambacorta, creator of the competition. The prize was won by the Voltaia district with “Il Cappello del Pastore”. The dishes of the competition can be tasted in the food stands of the respective districts throughout the week of events.

Thus ends the first weekend of the 2017 edition of the Bravìo delle Botti, which has already registered a significant turnout during the evening of Cantine in Piazza on Friday 18 August and the Proclamation of the Gonfaloniere on Saturday 19 August. Precisely this show, which characterizes the beginning of the ceremonies in honor of San Giovanni Decollato, was particularly appreciated for the efforts made by the entire Magistrate of the Contrade, also in the figure of the new master of ceremonies Sara Tonini.

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