Il Palio dei Micci – The Donkey Race

Il Palio dei Micci is a famous festival near the beach in Tuscany, near Forte dei Marmi & Viareggio Italia.  It’s an annual Medieval Festival that incorporates all of the different neighborhoods, le contrade, to compete against one another.

One of my very good friends is in charge of her team’s very elaborate & costly costumes that they annually recreate.   Last year she won first place for costume design!  Years ago she walked in the Parade as the Queen… Her husband once as the King…  as her children also participate in the event.  It involves almost every member of the Versilia Italia Community.

The neighborhoods take this event very seriously, with everyone donating their time and money to be the best Contrada!  Members of the community start to prepare for the following year almost immediately after the event is over.   They have sagras throughout the year to raise money for the elaborate costumes and the unique parade platforms.  I heard that they even inject the donkey with a shot of cocaine before the race starts to make their donkey go the fastest.  IDK, never seen that before. It’s a year of hard work for one day competing to be the best!

I have been to the event two years in a row & have never seen the Palio or the Parade, la Sfilata.  In the event of rain, the event is postponed to the following weekend.  It has rained EVERY time I have driven to the coast to attend.  Today we are driving to Forte Dei Marmi to attend the Palio tomorrow and there is a 40% chance of rain.  Please Mother Nature, smettere di piovere! Please don’t rain tomorrow!