The Palio Pages: In Vino Veritas

Il Bruco won the August 2008 Palio — here’s the video to prove it! — so we’re taking the opportunity to revisit this article on the caterpillar contrade.

On the morning of the Palio horse race in Siena, I woke up in a pool of ink. The previous night I had attended the big outdoor feast thrown by Il Bruco, or the Caterpillar, one of the neighborhood groups that was competing in the race. I ate and drank for hours until, sometime after 3:00 in the morning, a huge bald man (“Signore Clean” I kept calling him) had me in a headlock and was babbling loudly in Italian. I had no idea what he was saying, but I realized it was time to go. I was there as a journalist. I stumbled to a cab, took out my notebook, and began feverishly writing. I had to be responsible. I had to remember everything. The next day I woke up with a throbbing head, stained sheets, and a bleeding pen. My notebook was filled with pages and pages of gibberish. The end result — my Palio story at Men’s Vogue:

Great article! We watched the race on TV while at Lake Como, but couldn’t understand the Italian commentary. It was obvious, though, that something was going on. And, we thought the
“blue horse” (Shell) won, so it is interesting
and exciting to read your
article and learn of the real winner!
Now, will we get an update after August’s Palio??? (which is tomorrow!!!)

Marianne Koller    Aug 15, 09:34 AM    #

If anyone has RAI International (I don’t), the race is on tomorrow (Aug 16) at noon.

Austin    Aug 15, 12:31 PM    #

The Leocorno or Unicorn won the August Palio. I haven’t heard anything about it, except that they were shooting the new James Bond film live during the race.

— Austin    Aug 17, 09:38 AM    #


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