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Intellect

"Il Palio di Siena" horse race traditions topic for BYU lecture Nov. 20

Luca Bonomi, president of the Dante Alighieri Society in Siena, Italy, will present a Brigham Young University European Studies Lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at noon in 238 Herald R. Clark Building.

In his lecture, Bonomi will explain the secret traditions behind the ancient rituals and rites of control in Siena’s “contrade,” or neighborhoods, and their connection to the semiannual horse race, Il Palio di Siena.

Contrade are not ordinary neighborhoods—each has its own government, coat of arms, emblems, colors, official representatives, festivities and patron Saints to represent everyone born or living within the limits of the district.

The Palio is a medieval horse race held twice each year as part of the long-standing rivalry among the neighborhoods in Siena, each of which forms a team for the race. While the Palio lasts only one minute, it is the culmination of months of hope and preparations.

A member of a Sienese contrada, Bonomi received a degree in music and theatre from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” and a doctorate in teaching Italian language and culture to foreigners from the University of Perugia. He has traveled abroad extensively to promote the Dante Alighieri Society.

For more information on David M. Kennedy Center events, visit kennedy.byu.edu.

Writer: Marissa Ballantyne

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