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Siena (Tuscany, Italy)

Città di Siena

Last modified: 2003-08-09 by dov gutterman
Keywords: italy | siena | palio | tuscany |
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by Andre' Serranho

See also:

The Gonfalone

from <>, located by Dov Gutterman, 30 July 2002

Coat of Arms

by Andre' Serranho

Republic's Flag

by Andre' Serranho

Note: Although the Republic of Siena is long gone, after being conquered by Florence during the Medici period, its flag is still flown, along with the City and People ones, from the main Gates, in special days, such as the week of the world famous Palio, as shown under. Thus it is not presented as an historical flag.
Andre' Serranho

Palio Flags

Contrada della Pantera
by Marcus Schmöger, 23 August 2001

Contrada della Pantera - detail
by Marcus Schmöger, 23 August 2001

Take a look at <>. The Palio is explained, and all the flags are illustrated.
T.F. Mills

I got Siena Palio images from a postcard series copyright ca. 1955. The flags from the postcards are the main standards of the contrade (districts).  These are not the throwing versions, which appear to be much less elaborate.  There is also some evidence that there is no fixed pattern for these flags, and that they may evolve with the fashions of the times.
T.F. Mills 24 July 1999

This is the most complete site about Palio, Contrade....many images and flags at <>.
Alex Baldi , Le Muse Multimediali , 28 March 2000

There are 17 family-districts (contrade) in Siena.  You can see their flags at <>, click on the IL PALIO box, click on the Le 17 Contrade link, click on the clickable map.
T.F. Mills, 14 November 2000 and Ole Andersen, 23 March 2001

Having seen many images of the Palio over the decades, I think it is safe to say there is no "sealed pattern" for these flags, and they follow the ancient custom of "heraldic license" where details are not prescribed.
There is also a big difference between these large flags carried by the standard bearer of each contrada, and the smaller throwing flags.  The latter tend to be of much simpler design, and they also seem to vary over the years.  The constants would appear to be the major colours and the principal motif.
T.F. Mills, 23 March 2001

Recently a friend of mine brought me a flag he bought in Siena. It is obviously one of the flags of the Contrade in Siena, namely the Contrade della Pantera. It differs from the design shown on the website of Siena, though.
However, there were already reports, that there are always quite a lot of variations from the basic design.
Marcus Schmöger, 23 August 2001

I was asked by Jorge Candeias: is there an adecuate translation in english of "contrada"?
I checked this out yersterday and my dictionary reports 'district', even though it suggests using 'contrada' when relating to those of Siena. To the best of my knowledge, Palio roughly translates as 'tournament'. I think the reason is that Siena dues much of its fame to those 'contrade', as much as Venice to canals, which are usually translated like that and not like 'channels' or 'rivers', even though they are actually such things.
Manuel Giorgini, 14 November 2001

The "contrade" are the quarters of the city that try to win a flag (il palio) on July 2nd for the first time and on 15 August 15th, for the second time. The race is an horse race on the main place of the city. Is a medieval race with the people dressed with medieval costumes. If you want it's possible to have more information in the site of the town <>.
The names of the "contrade" are:
Torre (Tower)
Bruco (Caterpillar)
Chiocciola (Snail)
Istrice (Porcupine)
Civetta (Owl)
Drago (Dragon)
Giraffa (Giraffe)
Leocorno (a imaginary animal vith the body of horse and a horn on the front)
Lupa (Wolf female)
Montone (Ram)
Nicchio (Shell)
Oca (Goose)
Onda (Wave)
Pantera (Panther)
Selva (Woods, Forest)
Tartuca (Turtle)
Aquila (Eagle)
Bruno Fracasso, 18 December 2001

AC Siena

Here is the flag of AC Siena, the main soccer team of the town of Siena, in Tuscany from <>.
Paolo Montanelli, 7 August 2003