Palio de San Michele

The Palio di San Michele Arcangelo in Bastia Umbra begins in 1962with its first edition to celebrate the consecration of the new church to the patron saint of this lively Umbrian town. The then parish priest Don Luigi Toppetti, along with some boys of Bastia, conceived a live performance based on folklore and entertainment to go along with the religious ceremonies for the patron saint. The city was thus divided into four districts: San Rocco, Moncioveta, Sant’Angelo and Portella, each one distinguished by their own colour (green, red, yellow and blue respectively). Initially the challenge was based only on the lizza, a relay race happening on the main square of Bastia. Then, in 1965, thanks to the initiative of some creative and eager young people, the parades were designed. These parades are judged by a prestigious national panel formed by show business people. Popular traditional games were then added in 1969: the greasy pole challenge, a wheelbarrow race and the tug of war complete the current format of the festival. In 1995, the Palio di San Michele committee was officially born to regulate this friendly competition. The Palio is awarded to the quarter that totaled the most points in the various competitions of this exciting event.