Castel Madama

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Castel Madama province of Rome, accommodations 30km from Rome

PALIO holiday in Castel Madama town


Every year in the first week of July there is Palio Madama Marguerite of Austria. The Palio is a historical holiday, that it has been taking place for about 20 years, held in Madama Marguerite of Austria’s honour, daughter of the emperor Carlo V and wife of Alexander Medici. From 1538 up to her death, she was lady of the feud of Castrum Sancti Angels (the old name of Castel Madama). The Madama remained always in the heart of the population of castle.
During the days of the Palio the city seems to go back of 600 years, the roads transform: the square becomes a market of the Middle Ages; acrobats and fakirs amuses townsman; somewhere the music is head from a small party of farmers; hens cluck, sheep low, cows moo; the blacksmith beats the anvil with the heavy hammer. Suddenly, the sound of trumpets is heard, people move aside and the knights arrive on the square, greeted from the balcony of the Royal Palace by Madama Margarita…
Preparation for the Palio last through the whole year. The city is separated in the four neighbourhoods - rione: Empolitano, Castelluccio, Borgo and Santa Maria della Vittoria. Every rione has its colours and coats of arms and each of them prepare for the Palio in big secret. The competition is also very important in this event. The jury has the arduous assignment to assignment to decide the score and is composed of stage designers, historians and renown artists.
The rione that get the best score for the “decoration” and for the “procession” will receive the title of Noble Rione; but the Palio will be won by the rione that will get the best total score summing the points obtained with the “decoration” and the “procession”, to those obtained with the three horse races on Sunday afternoon. The knight who gets more points on the field will have in custody for one year the Sword of Charles V. PALIOPALIOPALIO The decoration of the city with the flags and the various local coats of arms begins at least two weeks before the holiday, but the true decoration carried out only the night before the Palio. During the night from Friday to Saturday a lot of women and men from each rione decorate the city with an incessant and frantic constant work, while curios and excited visitors and citizens go round the streets until morning. The Saturday morning everything is ready and the Palio is opened. The tourists enjoy represented scenes of the second half of the '500, and the jury circulates mixing among the people and gives the votes to the decorations, costumes, objects, utensils, musical tools and to the stage representations. Everything represented must belong to the historical age of "Madama" Marguerite of Austria.
The following day, on Sunday at 9.30 in the morning, the Procession of the four rioni begins along the streets in order of classification according to the preceding year. Then at the centre of the city in front of the "Madama" Margherita and her personal Corteo there is a ceremony where the horse race is announced for 5pm at the town stadium. In the afternoon thousands of people with flags, hats and shirts decorated with colours of four rione arrive at the stadium. The speaker announces the rules of horse race. The game with the flags, the Saracen and the horse race are the three competitions. The winner will have the right to bring the Palio to the city, where the holiday will be closed.

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Castel Madama 30km to Rome

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