Saturday, July 9, 2016

"Raw Siena", Siena, Italy

"Raw Siena", 27x41 cm, acrylic on canvas, $850.  
Every year in Siena there is a celebration and horse race called the Palio. A description couldn't do it justice but here goes. Basically all the contrada(neighborhoods) of Siena compete against each other in a horse race around the Campo, which is a big central square. It's been going on for the last 500 years and it feels like it. We where staying in a B&B in the Oca so we naturally rooted for them. The day of the race we posted up in the square starting at 2:00. We met a nice family from Australia and hung out(guarded our spot) for the next 8 hours. Luckily the time was broken up by conversation, gelato, white wine, prosciutto, watercolor, ext... They also did a big parade displaying their flags and horses, and sprayed the crowd with water to the kids delight. The entire square was packed full of people who had also been there for too long. Every few minutes the medics had to rescue people who had passed out from heat stroke. The locals where fired up over their race and got into it with our friends over standing on the fountain ledge. Then some others proceeded to take our spot. Some real medieval stuff. Then the race finally started, 90 seconds of pure adrenaline for jockeys, horses and spectators. They shoved, whipped and sprinted their way around the square 3 times. It was unreal to be a part of it. You get a real sense of the power snd momentum of racing horses. 2 horses collided in the first lap, one flipping over and slamming it's jockey on the ground. Very real and scary. Lupe ended up winning with our hood coming in 2nd or 3rd.  I couldn't help but think it would be good if our US gangs had this outlet. Without gats of course.

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