Estávamos á procura do melhor sitio na praça para nos sentarmos (no chão) quando do Palazzo Pubblico começam a sair os “alfieri” (porta bandeiras) acompanhados por outros que tocavam tambores. Assim do nada, sem avisar. Cada grupo representava uma Contrada (bairro) exibindo orgulhosamente os seus símbolos ou brasões caminhando pela praça até que os deixámos de ver. Ao principio achei que seria uma mudança da guarda mas nunca mais vinha os substitutos.
We were searching for the best place to sit in the square (on the ground) when from the Palazzo Pubblico begin to leave the “alfieri” (port flags) came out accompanied by others who played drums. Just like that, without warning. Each group represented a Contrada (ward) proudly displaying their symbols or coats walking through the square until we no longer see. At first I thought it would be a changing of the guard but the substitutes never came.
I tried to find out more about why this parade was walking through the streets, all relates them with “contradas” and Il Palio where before the race starts representatives of each parade through the streets. But we have seen them on this day so I do not know if it’s something you do every day or not.
Altogether there are 17 contradas mostly with animal names like if Siena was a country or republic like before and contradas their regions. And all this makes you believe they take very seriously its traditions, its history mainly in medieval times (which was at its peak) is spread through the streets and customs that they can maintain over the years.