Barrel Race

Barrel Race


Book your holiday at Le Manzinaie
for the period 16-25 August and don’t miss the chance
to be sent into a time wrap in a rich of folklore’s event
like the Bravio delle Botti (= Barrel Race).

The Barrel Race is a challenge
between the eight Districts (divisions) of Montepulciano
who compete, with two pushers for each district, for a painted cloth banner
by rolling the respective barrel (which weigh 80 kilos) in an uphill race lasting around 1800 metres along the main street of the town till up to the Cathedral square.

The Race take place the last Sunday of August, and the event is linked to a chapter of local history directly dating back to 1373.

This year, the day of Sunday August 25th, 2019 begins in Piazza Grande at 10:00 in the morning with the extraction of the starting positions. The 8 Districts of Montepulciano are: Cagnano, Collazzi, Coste, Gracciano, Poggiolo, San Donato, Talosa, Voltaia.
Then at 12:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of Montepulciano the offering of candles to St. John the Beheaded, patron saint of the town, will be held. The historical procession, composed of about 300 figures dressed up in Medieval costumes, will depart at 3:00 p.m. from the Marzocco Column, preceded by exhibitions of the flag-weavers of each district and everybody will march through all the city streets, to reach Piazza Grande. Always from the Marzocco Column, it will finally start the race of the Bravìo delle Botti at 7:00 p.m., and after about 10 minutes the cloth will be given to the winning district.

The whole week prior to the main event is filled with important appointments and celebrations:

August 16th, CANTINE IN PIAZZA: Friday evening entirely dedicated to the Vino Nobile of Montepulciano. Starting from 8:00 p.m., in Piazza Grande there will be wine tastings, local products and musical entertainment.

August 17th, PROCLAMATION OF THE GONFALONIERE: this event will mark the beginning of the match between the eight districts of Montepulciano.
Starting at 9:30 p.m. the representatives of each district will march in procession through the city, starting from their home territory to reach the main square Piazza Grande. The ceremony with the reading of the Proclamation and the greeting by the Gonfaloniere start at 10.00 p.m.

August 18th-23rd, PUSHERS’S NIGHT PRACTICES: the streets are animated by the night practice of the pushers, which will face one after the other, the climb up on the Piazza Grande, waiting for the race on Sunday. Practice will take place every evening from 9:00 p.m., with the exception of Thursday August 22nd, for the Procession of the Candles.

August 22nd, PROCESSION OF THE CANDLES: at 9:00 p.m. the parade from the Marzocco Column will start and it will march through the city, up to Piazza Grande, through a charming atmosphere with no electric light, only lit by torches. In Piazza Grande at 10:00 p.m. the offering of candles in the name of St. John the Beheaded will be held and there will be the flag waving exhibition, performed by the flag wavers and drummers of Montepulciano.

Take a look to our special offers valid for this period for a special holiday full of local tradition!

For further information