These were some of the many sights and sounds at the St Finbar’s Il Palio di Siena Italian Day.
The day began with a vivid, loud and bright opening ceremony, attempting to replicate the great one in Siena.
Seconds after the mayors spoke, ears were filled with the sounds of throbbing coming from the Batteristi (the drummers), as they whacked the drums as a symbol of welcoming all of our roles.
We had Sienese flag wavers, and on guard the whole day were our Carabinieri (police).
We had contrada flag wavers, and last to enter Piazza del Campo were our jockeys.
These roles were distributed amongst the Year 6 students, but the entire school was involved in the day with everyone completing a delectable, delicious and amazing pasta workshop.
For this we had the help of Signora Tascone from Big Pocket Educational Incursions, who also provided us with all the costumes, drums and flags.
All students participated in horse races around our school track hoping to win the race to earn points for their contrada (district).
The Batteristi (the drummers)
Every student and teacher belonged to one of the following contrade - Oca, Nicchio, Aquila and Giraffa.
In Siena, the prize for winning the Palio (horse race) is a drappellone, which is a silk banner designed and painted by a famous artist.
At St Finbar’s, the students have many talents one of which is art; to acknowledge that, a competition was held to identify an artist with the best drappellone design.
The winner’s design was later hand painted onto a canvas and was used at the closing ceremony and presented to the winning contrada.
At the closing ceremony, the mayors reflected on the day and announced the winning contrada.
This was a long-anticipated part of the day.
All students participated in horse races around our school track
When the winning contrada was announced, the cheering of the winning contrada’s chant was heard from miles away.
It was an awesome day!
Over the years, we have had some great Italian days at St Finbar’s, but this was extra special.
It was a real cultural experience and all students enjoyed every moment of the day.
As an Italian leader, I was very privileged to have had the opportunity to help Signora Sirianni (our Italian teacher) organise this magnificent day.
It is certainly one of the most memorable days of my primary years.
Do you want to be a junior reporter for a day? Write about your experience of the Italian language (in Italian or English), or choose a topic you are passionate about and tell us all about it (in Italian only). Your article will be published in our monthly education special, In classe. For more information, please send us an email.