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Il Palio dell’Imperatore

The race of the barrels at night in Suvereto

The Palio di Suvereto no longer involves horses, but barrels of wine that roll through the streets of the village, pushed by teams of ‘pushers’ who compete in speed. The Palio is held twice a year: the first edition is held in May in honor of the patron saint of the city. An edition of the Palio del’Imperatore is also held in August at night, to allow tourists on the Etruscan coast to appreciate the spectacular race and the local gastronomy.

The history of the Palio

The Palio is held in memory of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII of Luxembourg, who died suddenly and mysteriously in Buonconvento (Siena) during a military campaign to bring the Italian lordships into line. His mortal remains rested in the Ghibelline castle of Suvereto from 1313 to 1315, before being moved to the mausoleum dedicated to him in the cathedral of Pisa. Click here to learn about the history of this tradition, which unites the village of Suvereto with other towns and cities of wine.

The Palio of the day before August 15th is disputed between teams of “pushers” representing the Suvereto districts and fractions, with preliminaries and finals, rolling wooden barrels of 5 quintals of wine through the paved streets of the historic center. The pairs of pushers place the barrel face up and push it as evenly as possible around the circuit trying to overtake their opponents.

This year the race will take place at 10.00 pm, giving everyone the opportunity to dine from 7.00 pm in the Cloister of San Francesco, tasting the dishes specially designed for the evening.


– pappardelle with wild boar
– stewed wild boar with olives
– dessert and seasonal fruit
Suvereto’s wine and water
– table service

The Palio dinner costs 23 euros and there is no reservation.

While waiting for the Palio, the Knights of Ildebrandino await you at the Campo d’Arme dell’ Rocca starting at 19:00. The theme of the evening will be: Henry VII, the emperor who “was cooked” in Suvereto. Further information on the activities of the Knights can be found in this post.

The initiative is promoted by the Suvereto Palio delle Botti TeamSuvereto Valorisation with the participation of Flag-wavers and Musicians of S. Croce – Suvereto and the patronage of the Municipality of Suvereto.

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