Palio atmosphere- Luca Massai tells us about the historical parade

On the occasion of the 64th Palio dei Somari 2021, which will exceptionally take place on 25-26 September, we interviewed Luca Massai, president of Contrada Porta a Pago (name of the old district) and member of the commission that oversees the Historical Parade in the Sagra di San Giuseppe Association.

We remind you that the event this year will take place in a slightly different form, in accomplishment with all the regulations provided by the covid-19 protocol. The Sagra di San Giuseppe Association has prepared a calendar of events that only takes place for two days and does not include the development of the Taverns. Precisely for this reason, we thought it was important to hear the voice of Luca Massai, who organized the parade and the new program.

Luca, how will the historical parade work this year? What will be different from previous years?

The parade will not undergo major changes, visually it will be quite the same. Specifically, each district normally has 17 members available in the classical formation but this year we reduced the number to 13 due to numerical capacity and to respect the distancing, since the religious function instead of being celebrated at the church of Santa Flora will be celebrated in San Martino. So we had to reduce the numbers to 4 pageboys and also reduced common members of the Sagra di San Giuseppe Association, the parade of Saints. The route will also undergo changes to avoid any gatherings. We have decided to avoid the passage from Piazza Matteotti, also the entrances to the Gioco del Pallone, where all the shows and the competitions will take place, will be from Porta a Sole instead of Porta Nova.

What do you miss from the period before Covid at the level of organization of the parade, but also regarding the district itself?

The program is much more restricted, this year there are no celebrations. The Taverns, as already mentioned, are closed, only the districts will be able to independently choose whether to effectuate the propitiatory dinners on Friday in a reduced form. Our interest is to make a sustainable event both bureaucratically and safe for everybody’s health.

What is the most exciting moment of the whole event?

The best moments are those in which flags and drums are seen and heard. Hearing the sounds of the clarions at 9 in the morning for the call of the first districts is certainly an emotion that we can’t wait to feel again.

What if your contrada wins?

For superstition we have not thought about it, surely we would not be able to celebrate in a normal way, but only with the contradaioli in a reduced way. In that case we will be only a few, but good.

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