Feltre Palio 2016

One of the most fascinating traditional events in Italy and Veneto

From 30 July 2016 to 07 August 2016

Everything is ready for the 38th edition of the Feltre Palio! The Feltre events, dates and program have been made official: from July 30 to August 7, do not miss one of the most fascinating Feltre events in 2016 with music, festivals, exhibitions, children's shows, flea markets, food and wine stalls and much more!

The Feltre Festival in Belluno, also called Palio dei Fifteen Ducati, is a centuries-old Venetian tradition that began around the fourteenth century to commemorate the inclusion of middle age Feltre in the Republic of Venice. During this spectacular event, every year Feltre becomes a great playing field in which the participants challenge each other in various skill tests... As always, the districts of Castle, Duomo, Port'Oria and St Stefano will participate in this traditional event in Feltre.

For the inhabitants of Medieval Feltre, the Feltre Palio is a very important moment of sharing and that's why every year people devote themselves with body and soul to the organization of this extraordinary event in Feltre Italy. Although the competitions of the Feltre Palio usually take place at the turn of the months of July and August, the preparatory activities and workouts begin much earlier; already in the month of May you can get a tantalizing taste of the event with the historical parade of the Feltre Festival 2016, the evocative Mass at the Shrine of the patron saints of the city, St Vittore and St Corona, and the unmissable spectacle of flag-wavers and drummers in the historic cloister that each year attracts numerous tourists from around the world.

But what is the history of the Feltre Palio? The Feltre Italy events of the 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 Feltre racehorses due to the lack of suitable spaces; in 1985, on the occasion of the Belluno University Games, a structure suitable for the horse races was built in Prà del Moro in Feltre. Since then, four official competitions have been included in the Feltre Palio Regulations: tug of war, archery, relay race and on horserace. The victory is awarded to the neighbourhood that gets the best score in all disciplines.

Every year, all the teams prepare themselves with great dedication to the event, training hard to win the drape of the Feltre Palio. There are four districts in the race, each marked by a different coloured symbol:

  • Feltre Palio Castle District: represented by a gold lion on a light blue background, emblem of the Dè Gazzi noble family;
  • Feltre Palio Cathedral Quarter: uses the colours of the Bellati House, a star with eight points and three golden bars on a blue background;
  • Feltre Palio Port'Oria District: symbolized by a black eagle on a gold background. The district owes its unusual name to the East gate that once closed the city walls;
  • Feltre Palio District of St. Stefano: represented by a golden horn on a red background, a symbol of the ancient Dal Corno aristocratic family.

After the day of May 8, with the historical procession of Feltre Palio, the Holy Mass in the Sanctuary and the extraordinary exhibition of the flag wavers, on July 30 the actual schedule of the Feltre Italy events 2016 begins: music, history and tradition for a week full of fun and happy atmosphere!

 

Feltre Palio 2016 - Full program:

Saturday, July 30
At 6.00pm at the Sena Theatre, you can watch the presentation ceremony of the Feltre Palio 2016, followed by the inauguration of the Exhibition of the 2016 Drape painter. In the evening, starting at 8.30pm, Piazza Maggiore will be enlivened by the duel between the flag wavers and musicians from the four districts.

Tuesday, August 2
An evening of music with the concert at the historic Villa Muffoni in Cesiomaggiore.

Wednesday, August 3
The Feltre Palio 2016 program continues with the so-called 'Night of the Districts', a must for all inhabitants who meet to spend a few hours together before the races.

  • Cathedral District: drummers and flag bearers will be performing with a traveling show in the hamlet of Tome, Villaga and Mugnai
  • Castle District: the evening events will take place in the hamlet of Villabruna, where the typical local festival will also feature flag games and entertaining shows
  • Santo Stefano District: for this district the Feltre Palio starts in the village of Farra with a parade of flag bearers and musicians who, through the narrow streets of Boscariz, will arrive in the Square VII Alpini Regiment which will host the dinner
  • Port'Oria District: outdoor dinner taking place in Tortesen and preceded by a parade through the streets of the town to the main square, where there will be the blessing ceremony of the athletes and knights.

Friday, August 5
The festivities begin on the eve of the races with the Feltre Palio District dinner. This is a much awaited event by the inhabitants of Feltre who fill the squares and streets of their district to support and encourage their heroes.

- Port'Oria District - Campo Giorgio

- Cathedral District - Piazza Vittorino da Feltre

- Castle District - Largo Castaldi

- Santo Stefano District - Piazza Trento and Trieste

Saturday, August 6
The first day of racing is really full of events: at noon all the taverns of the old town will open, while in the afternoon, from 3.00pm or so, there will be the charming Medieval Market and traveling shows in the Citadel. At 6.30pm the Coat of Arms Hall will host the traditional Renaissance concert. In the evening the Feltre Palio comes alive in Piazza Maggiore with the celebration of the dedication ceremony and the moving candlelight vigil that signals the entry in the four districts into the city. The first two races of the Feltre Palio, archery and relay, will begin after 21.00; between one race and another the exhibition of flag-waving City of Feltre will be held and at midnight spectacular fireworks and soup for everyone will wrap the evening up!

Sunday, August 7
The final day of the Feltre Festival 2016 will start with a Mass and the blessing of the horses in St. Peter's Cathedral; in the afternoon there will be the big show in the town centre with the Feltre flag-wavers and the traditional parade which will make its entry into the area of Prà del Moro. At 5.00pm the last two races of the Palio di Feltre, horses and tug of war, will begin and at the end of the competitions, the event will conclude with the award of the Drape of the Feltre Palio 2016 to the winning District.

 

From July 30 to August 7, go for a trip to Feltre and take the opportunity to attend one of the oldest and most fascinating traditional events in Italy and Veneto! Book one of our hotels in the Dolomites and enjoy the show: medieval atmosphere, music, history, culture and fun are waiting for you to spend a truly unforgettable week!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff