The “Palio delle Contrade” race which will be held on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at Allumiere, is one of the most interesting events held in the province of Rome.
Now at its 48th edition, it is in actual fact an ancient folkloristic tradition which appears to date back to the early sixteenth century, when Agostino Chigi of Siena was awarded a contract for mining alum by the Reverend Apostolic Chamber. The six contrade or quarters (Ghetto, Burò, Polveriera, La Bianca, Nona and Sant’Antonio) into which Allumiere is divided compete for the “Palio” along a track which is prepared in sixteenth-century Piazza della Repubblica. As tradition would have it, the “Palio” race takes place using donkeys instead of horses, to recall the animals used for drawing the carts used to transport the alum mineral. Before the race, a historical parade takes place along the town’s streets, with sixteenth-century costumes and over 200 actors taking part (damsels, knights, men of arms, riders, flag flyers, buglers, drummers, …) along with a carriage pulled by ox from the Maremma region. The evening before the “Palio” is held, on Saturday, August 18, an evening of dancing takes place in each “Contrada” with refreshments offered to all participants. This is an important part of the event, and offers the chance for visitors to mingle with the people of Allumiere. The event is organised by the population as a whole, the municipal authorities and the local tourist board.