Bravio delle Botti
The Bravìo delle Botti is the challenge that takes place every year in Montepulciano between the 8 districts of Montepulciano (Cagnano, Collazzi, Gracciano, Le Coste, Poggiolo, San Donato, Talosa, Voltaia), the last Sunday of August in honor of the saint patron saint, San Giovanni Decollato.
The race takes place along the main streets of the city: two men called “pushers” (usually athletes, in many cases marathon runners) push a barrel weighing 80 kg for the route, about 1700 meters long. The departure is at the Colonna del Marzocco, while the arrival is located in Piazza Grande, in the churchyard of the Cathedral of Montepulciano. On the morning of the festival, the districts meet in Piazza Grande to watch the extraction of the order of departure and parade. At the start, in fact, the barrels are arranged in two rows (parallel) of four. Followed by the Sbandierata and the fired branding of the Barrels.
At 12 o’clock the Holy Mass takes place, during which the bishop gives his blessing to the districts, the pushers and the barrels.
After lunch in the district, around 15.30 begins the historical parade along the city streets: a set of colors with characters in period costume, tambourines and flag-wavers.
At 7 pm, the tolling of the bell in the tower of the Palazzo Comunale will start the race. The race begins with the enthusiasm of the Poliziani who encourage the pushers of their district along the difficult climbs of the city. After verification by the race judges of the regularity of the race, the Bravìo is delivered to the district that first arrived in the churchyard of the Duomo.
Then great celebrations begin in the winning district. After the dinner the victorious Contradas bring in the parade, both in the historical center and in the other districts, the Bravìo just won.
For more information: www.braviodellebotti.com