The Palio is set to host 32 jockeys, all of which represent the eight municipalities of the Etruscan coast: Livorno, Rosignano, Cecina, Bibbona, Sassetta, Campiglia, Suvereto and Castagneto. Some of the most experienced and successful Palio of Siena jockeys, including Luigi Bruschelli (Trecciolino), Giovanni Atzeni (Tittia), and Jonatan Bartoletti (Scompiglio), will be in the saddle.
Aside from the experienced jockeys, there will be some young and promising competitors entering the races. Mattia Chiavassa, Michel Putzu, Marco Bitti, and Adrian Topalli are among some of the up-and-coming jockeys aiming to make history at this iconic Palio.
Eight jockeys at a time will compete on their barebacked half-breed in four elimination heats. Only the first two to finish the each heat will move on to the final race.
This event is organized by the ASD Palio of the Etruscan Coast and sponsored by the municipality of Bibbona and the Region of Tuscany. The Palio itself takes place on Sunday, but will be accompanied by events on the days previous, which will host legendary jockeys such as Andrea Degortes (Aceto) and Silvano Vigni (Bastiano) in addition to Gianpaolo Minnucci, the harness driver of the championship-winning horse Varenne. They will participate in a discussion open to the public on Friday, April 21 (9 pm) at “La Palestra” Theater where the painted banner (Palio) awarded to the winner will also be unveiled. On the agenda for Thursday, April 20 (9 pm) is the screening of the film “The Palio” at the Teatro “La Palestra” in Bibbona, while on Saturday, April 22, the Quintana Etrusca medieval joust on horseback is scheduled at 3 pm.
The Palio of the Etruscan Coast race will start at 2:30 pm on Sunday, April 23, and end at 6 pm. All of the activities on the program except the actual Palio are free to enter. Advance sales for the race are now open, and tickets range from €15 to €20. (Abby Capra)
For information, visit the official website www.paliodellacostaetrusca.com or the Facebook page @PaliodellaCostaEtrusca