Feltre Palio 2015

The most anticipated re-enactment of the Dolomites

From 25 July 2015 to 02 August 2015

Everything is ready for the 37th edition of the Feltre Palio! The dates and program have been made official: from 25 July to 2 August, do not miss one of the most traditional events in Italy in Feltre in 2015 with music, festivals, exhibitions, children's shows, flea markets, food, wine stalls and much more!

The Feltre Palio, also called Palio dei Fifteen Ducati, is a centuries-old Venetian tradition that began around the 15th century to mark the entry of Feltre town to the Republic of Venice; during this spectacular Feltre Festival, the main square becomes a challenging test for various skills among the four districts of the city: Castle, Cathedral, Port'Oria and Santo Stefano.

For Feltre, the Palio is an important moment and this is why every year everybody dedicates their heart and soul to the organization of this extraordinary event. Although the Palio race is held on the first weekend of August, the preparatory and trainingsd begin many months before; in May for example, you can get a tantalizing taste of the event with the historical parade of the Palio, the evocative Mass at the shrine of the patron saints, San Vittore and Santa Corona, and an unmissable spectacle of flag-wavers and drummers in the historic cloister that each year attracts numerous tourists from around the world.

The history of the Feltre Palio initially originates back in the 14th century, to mark the entry of the city between the domains of the Duke of Milan Gian Galeazzo Visconti, and then to celebrate the dedication of Feltre to Venice, with a symbolic re-enactment of the solemn ceremony of handing over the city keys to Bartolomeo Nani, the ambassador at the time. On the occasion of this gesture, a strong symbol of the covenant between the cities of Belluno and the Venetian Republic, it was decided that 15 gold coins were to be awarded to the winner of various competitions.

From 1979 to 1984 the races with horses, although already known, were not included in the race of the Feltre Palio due to the lack of suitable premises. It was on the occasion of the Belluno University Games in 1985 in Feltre, in Prà del Moro, that a structure suitable to horse races was built.

The regulation of the Feltre Festival has four official competitions: relay race, archery, tug of war and race horses. The victory is awarded to the neighbourhood that gets the best score in all disciplines.

Each year, all the teams prepare with great dedication to the event, training hard to win the drape of the Feltre Palio. The four districts are each  marked with a symbol of a different colour: the Castle District, in Feltre, is represented by a gold lion on blue, emblem of the noble family Dè Gazzi; the Cathedral District uses the colours of the Bellati House, a star with eight points and three gold bars on a blue square. A black eagle on a golden background is  the symbol of the Port'Oria District, which owes its unusual name to the East gate that once closed the city walls. Finally, the Santo Stefano di Feltre District is represented by a gold horn on a red background, a symbol of aristocratic ancient family Dal Corno.

After 10 May, which has seen the inauguration of the Feltre Palio with the parade in the town centre, Mass at the Shrine and the extraordinary spectacle of flag-waving, on 25 July the actual timing of the Feltre Palio begins: Feltre events 2015 music, history and tradition offering a fun and happy atmosphere for a week!

Events in Feltre Italy 2015 - Full program:

Saturday 25 July:
6pm at the Sena Theatre, you can watch the ceremony of presentation of the Feltre Palio, followed by the inauguration of the exhibition of the painter of the Cloth 2015. In the evening, at 8pm Piazza Maggiore will be enlivened by the challenge between the flag wavers and musicians of the four districts.

Tuesday 28 July:
Feltre events including an evening of music with a concert at the historic Villa Muffoni of Cesiomaggiore.

Wednesday 29 July:
The program of the traditional events in Feltre continues with the so-called 'Night of the Quarter', a must for all the district inhabitants who meet to spend some time together before the race.
- Feltre Palio - Cathedral Quarter: drummers and flag bearers perform with a travelling show in the town of Tomo, Villaga and Mugnai
- Feltre Palio - Castle District: the location of the evening event will be the Villabruna district, where the typical local festival will be enriched by flag games and entertaining shows
- Feltre Palio - Santo Stefano District: the town of Farra will host the evening with a parade of flag bearers and musicians who, through the narrow streets of Boscariz, will arrive in the VII Regiment Square which will host the dinner
- Feltre Palio - Port'Oria District: the district dinner at Tortesen will be preceded by a parade through the streets of the district to the main square, where there will be the blessing ceremony of the athletes, knights and portarioli.

Friday 31 July:
On the eve of the race, the festivities already start! The Feltre Palio, the dinner of the Districts is an event eagerly awaited by the locals who fill the squares and streets of their district to support and encourage their heroes.

Saturday 1 August:
The first day of racing is full of Feltre events: at noon all the taverns of the old town open, while in the afternoon there will be the charming Medieval  Feltre Market followed by a concert at the Renaissance Hall of Emblems. In the evening the Feltre Palio comes alive: in Piazza Maggiore the dedication ceremony with the touching torchlight procession for the entry of the four districts into the city will be celebrated after which the races will officially start with the disciplines of archery and relay.
At midnight, the evening will come to a close with spectacular fireworks and minestrone soup for everyone!

Sunday 2 August:
The final day of the Feltre events in 2015 will begin with the blessing of the horses in St. Peter's Cathedral followed by a small parade, while in the afternoon there will be a great show in the town centre, with the Feltre flag-wavers and the traditional middle age Feltre, Italy parade that will make its entry into the Pra del Moro Square. There follows the tug of war, a cheerful show for young and old and the long-awaited racing horses. At the end of the competitions, the event will conclude with the award of the Cloth of Palio 2015 to the winning district.

With a program so rich, you cannot miss the Feltre Palio in 2015 from 25 July to 2 August! Book one of our hotels at the foot of the Dolomites: enjoy the medieval atmosphere of the traditional events in Feltre: music, history, culture and fun are waiting for you to spend an unforgettable week!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff