|Colors||Red and white|
|Terzo||Terzo di Camollìa|
|Headquarters||Via delle Vergini 18|
|Museum||Piazzetta della Giraffa 2|
|Clubhouse||Società “La Giraffa”, via delle Vergini|
|Oratory||Chiesa del Suffragio, nella cripta della Collegiata di Provenzano|
|Paitron Saint||Madonna della Visitazione (31 may)|
|Enemie(s)||Bruco (dal 1945 al 1996)|
|Allied contrade||Civetta (dal 1923)
Istrice (dal 1795)
Pantera (dal 1781)
Valdimontone (dal 1781 al 1963)
|Victories||36 officially recognized|
The Bando di Violante di Baviera from 1730 determined the division of the city of Siena into 17 Contrade. People referred to buildings and their owners instead of the streets (as they do now). The document is still seen today as the basis on which the actual boundaries of the districts were determined.
Today, the following streets are part of the area’s territory:
- via delle Vergini
- via Sallustio Bandini (part)
- via del Moro (part)
- via del Refe Nero (part)
- via Lucherini
- via di Provenzano
- vicolo di Provenzano
- vicolo del fontino
- via San Pietro a Ovile
- via del Giglio
- via dei Rossi (part)
- piazza San Francesco (part)
- via dei Baroncelli
- via del Fosso
- vicolo della Viola
- piazza Provenzano Salvani
Giraffa and the number 3. It’s a winning combination! Giraffa, for example, won 3 times a Cappotto. Nobody equaled, let alone exceeded this.
In addition, the Contrada of Provenzano won three Palios linked to important events in the history of Italy. First, Giraffa became a Contrada “Reale” after winning the Palio on July 16, 1887 due to the presence of King Umberto I d’Italia and Queen Margherita di Savoi. In the presence of King Vittorio Emanuele III and his wife Queen Elena, they also won the Palio of July 2, 1936, dedicated to the Italian colonial empire. This also made them “Imperiale.” Finally, they also became “Repubblicana” after the victory of the Palio on 16 August 1946, in the presence of the provisional head of the Republic of Enrico De Nicola.
“Reale, Imperiale, Repubblicana” was the title of the Numero Unico of 1946. Only the title “Imperiale” is still used in the official name of the neighborhood.
Important locations and Festa Titolare
The Oratory of Giraffa is actually the crypt of the Basilica di Provenzano and was built between 1595 and 1604 by the Medici. After a lot of discussions with the church about the use of this space, it was donated to the neighborhood in 1824 to make it an Oratory. Later the museum was also housed in the crypt of the church.
The baptismal fountain is located on the Piazzetta della Giraffa just before the Oratory and was designed by Salvatore Bocci.
The Festa Titolare in honor of the Madonna della Visitazione is celebrated on May 31. The same Maria is also celebrated on July 2, but throughout the Palio. That is also the reason why after a victory in July the Palio must be brought to the Basilica di Provenzano to sing the Te Deum. (in August this is the Duomo)
Giraffa and the Palio
Giraffa has 36 officially recognized victories. The last one dates from 2 July 2019, with Giovanni Atzeni (Tittia) on Tale e Quale.
Giraffa won no less than 3 Capotti. The first in 1807. In 1897 they won their second. Exactly 100 years later, in 1997 they even won a third. An absolute record.
In Siena it is said that you should win every 7 years. Giraffa is a neighborhood that realizes this: 1990 – 1997 (2x) – 2004 – 2011.
On the night of September 23, 1967, the Palio was stolen from the church of San Vigilio. The drappellone, painted by Bruno Marzi, was designed for the Palio Straordinario of 24 September in honor of the conference that took place for the promotion of Science. Because there was no longer a palio, the city was forced to mount the original sketch on a white canvas to replace the drappellone.
The Palio is won by Giraffa with Rosario Pecoraro (Tristezza) on Topolone (who then named Ettore).
The legend goes that “in the evening, during the party in Giraffa, there was a phone call from the thieves. These turned out to be students from the University of Bologna, who had stolen the Palio. (a student joke that got out of hand?) They realized that the Palio of Siena is quite a serious matter for the Sienese and regretted their act.
A few days later, the original Palio was brought back to a secret location where the students left the drappellone. To avoid an (unpleasant) confrontation, it was requested to disappear immediately after leaving. However, Giraffa refused to give the “sketch” back to the city, which means that there are now 2 drappellone hanging in the Giraffa museum, neatly next to each other.
A contrada without rivals
Like many others, Giraffa and Bruco were rivals due to disputes around the neighborhood’s borders. Everything was settled in 1996 after the victory of Bruco after 41 years of waiting … Despite the fact that the cessation of hostility was even made official, there is still hatred of the others, especially with older contradaioli.
Palio 2 Luglio 2019Il Palio del 2 luglio 2019 vinto dall'Imperiale Contrada della Giraffa con Giovanni Atzeni detto Tittia su Tale e Quale
La Giraffa vince la Carriera del 2 luglio 2017
Palio 16 agosto 2011Giraffa - Fedora Saura - Andrea Mari detto Brio
Palio 2 luglio 2004Giraffa - Donosu Tou - Alberto Ricceri detto Salasso
Palio 16 agosto 1997Giraffa - Quarnero - Guiseppe Pes detto Il Pesse
Palio 3 luglio 1997Giraffa - Lobi's Andrea - Guiseppe Pes detto Il Pesse
2 luglio 1990Giraffa - Galleggiante - Silvano Vigni detto Bastiano
Palio 16 agosto 1986Giraffa - Fenosu - Mario Cottone detto Truciolo
Palio 16 agosto 1983Giraffa - Panezio - Antonello Casula detto Moretto
Palio 16 agosto 1971Giraffa - Orbello - Eletto Alessandri detto Bazza
Palio 2 luglio 1970Giraffa - Topolone - Eletto Alessandri detto Bazza
Palio 2 luglio 1936Giraffa - Ruello - Umberto Baldini detto Bovino
|Total victories in de 17th century : 3|
|6||02/07/1745||Barbarisco||baio del Bonucci|
|8||03/07/1794||Mattiaccio||baio chiaro del Gigli|
|Total victories in de 18th century : 5|
|9||16/08/1805||Caino||morello maltinto del Fontani|
|10||03/07/1807||Botto||sauro del Ricci|
|11||16/08/1807||Mattiaccio||baio chiaro del Manetti|
|12||02/07/1852||Cilla||morello del Cicali|
|13||15/08/1862||Bachicche||storno del Ceccarelli|
|14||15/08/1865||Liberato||morella bruciata dell’Orlandini|
|Total victories in de 19th century : 9|
|19||25/09/1913||Testina||sauro balzano del Socini|
|31||03/07/1997||Il Pesse||Lobi’s Andrea|
|Total victories in de 20th century : 15|
|36||02/07/2019||Tittia||Tale e Quale|
|Total victories in de 21st century : 4|
Giraffa grants itself 6 additional wins, not recognized by the City of Siena:
- 1629: bufalata
- September 1718: Palio rionale organized by Nicchio.
- 1751: Palio rionale organized by Nicchio.
- 1790: Palio rionale organized by Torre.
- August 17, 1875: Palio “alla romana”: winner Consolation between the neighborhoods that were excluded from the final, won by Filippo Meloni detto Barbone. (with a Palio alla Romana three batterie were driven. The winners of each batterie rode the final).
- Giraffa also exhibits the Palio of August 16, 1730. However, this was not driven due to the theft of the “Sacre Particole” from the Basilica di San Francesco. However, it is not known why and how that Palio ended up in the museum.
Drappelloni and Numeri Unici
Drappellone and Numeri Unici can be found on pages on our Dutch website (pages will open in new tab) :
- Since July 2, 1775, 483 fantini debuted on the Piazza
- In 1928, no less than 9 fantini debuted (in 3 courses).
- 21 fantini won their debut.
- Giraffa had 34 fantini debuting since 1775
- None of the won on his debut
- The longest period without a debutant is 21 years : 2/7/1958-4/7/1979
|1||Giannino di Tirli||16/8/1798|
Below you will find events that have never happened before and that cause some kind of superstition in the contradaioli. MAI or never is of course a relative term. The further we go back in time, the less data is stored and the more uncertain we become.
Giraffa has never :
- won when they were selected as 1st or 5th (estrazione)
- on from position 5, 7 and 8 at the start or as rincorsa
- won a palio after being extracted with Civetta or Lupa or Nicchio or Oca or Onda or Torre or Valdimontone
- won an august palio after being extracted with Civetta or Drago or Istrice or Lupa or Oca or Onda or Pantera or Selva or Tartuca
- won a palio alla romana
- won a palio with cavalli scossi
- won a palio when Drago or Tartuca was rincorsa
Last update : 23 august 2022