www.thepalio.eu - dal Belgio con amore
|Colors||White and green with a red band|
|Terzo||Terzo di Camollìa|
|Headquarters||Vicolo del Tiratoio 13|
|Museum||Adiacente all’Oratorio di Santa Caterina|
|Clubhouse||Società “La Trieste”, Via Santa caterina|
|Oratory||Oratorio di Santa Caterina in Fontebranda|
|Paitron Saint||Santa Caterina da Siena (second sunday of may)|
|Allied contrade||Aquila (dal 1911 al 1921)|
Drago (dal 1789 al 1947)
Lupa (dal 1887 al 1972)
Nicchio (dal 1777 al 1934)
Onda (precedente il 1650 al 1966)
Tartuca (dal 1933 al 1975)
|Victories||66 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 di Santa Caterina
- via di Fontebranda (part)
- via di Diacceto (part)
- via della Galluzza
- via delle Terme (part)
- via dei Pittori
- via del Tiratoio
- vicolo del Costaccino
- vicolo del Forcone
- vicolo del Trapasso
- costa di Sant’Antonio (part)
The former territory of the extinct Contrada dell’Orso is also included in the Oca area.
The Contrada dell’Orso contained the following streets in Siena: piazza Tolomei, Banchi di Sopra until Arco dei Rossi, via dei Termini, piazza dell’Indipendenza, via delle Terme, via di Città, Banchi di Sopra until Piazza Tolomei. The streets of the neighborhood were divided among Civetta, Oca and Selva.
In addition, the territory of the extinct neighborhood of Contrada del Gallo has also been included in the territory of Oca. The Contrada contained the following streets in Siena : Costarella dei Barbieri, via di Fontebranda (until via di Città), piazza dell’Indipendenza , via di Diacceto, via dei Pellegrini, via di Città until Chiasso del Bargello. The streets of the neighborhood were divided among Civetta, Oca and Selva.
The district received the title of Nobile on March 23, 1846 in recognition of its value in the battles at Montemaggio (1145) and Montaperti (1260), as well as the Senese war (1552-1555).
The construction of the ‘dei bottini’ aqueduct was also honored in this way.
Important locations and Festa Titolare
The Oratory of Oca, Santa Caterina in Fontebranda, also known as oratorio della Tintoria is a small church that is located in via Santa Caterina and is owned by Oca. In 1461, Caterina Benincasa of Siena was declared a saint by Pope Pius II. The residents of the Fontebranda neighborhood wanted to build a church on the ground where Caterina had lived as a tribute. A few houses were demolished and the church was built by Francesco di Duccio del Guasta between 1465 and 1474.
The baptism of the contradaioli takes place in the sources of Fontebranda in the Via Omonima.
The Festa Titolare in honor of Santa Caterina da Siena is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of May.
Oca and the Palio
Oca has 66 victories. The last one dates from August 16 2023 when Brigante won on Zio Frac.
Oca has never won a Cappotto.
Oca is the district with by far the most wins. Since 1744 they have won at least 1x the Palio every decade! The last 11 wins were won by only 3 different fantini. Aceto won no less than 5 of his 14 wins for Oca. Trecciolino and Tittia each won 3. In the first quarter of the 20th century, Picino was the big fantino of Oca. He won 4x for the Fontebranda district.
Oca is the district with the most wins in the history of the Palio of Siena (65 between 1644 and 2015). It is also the district where St. Catherine of Siena was born.
At the Palio of July 4, 1858, Oca wrote history by winning with never seen cheating. Gaetano Bastianelli detto Gano di Catera was chosen as a fantino, a tanner who was born and raised in Fontebranda. As a fantino he was very experienced but also unlucky. In 30 years he never won except that day! Trattienti was assigned to Oca at the tratta. A very beautiful horse, but a very slow horse. The Ocaioli therefore had no hope of winning. The priest of the ward was also a horse breeder and had an identical horse at home! A very fast racehorse. They decided to change the horse. As expected, Oca won the Palio (with the priest’s “look-alike” horse). The original horse was waiting in the stable, completely overloaded with blankets, so that it would sweat. The change happened quickly and unobtrusively as the ocaioli were overjoyed!
Only a few years later the truth came to light. None of the other neighborhoods had seen it, even the ocaioli that were not informed fell over in surprise.
Rivalry with Torre
The rivalry between Oca and Torre is the only remaining rivalry between non-neighboring neighborhoods. It is also one of the oldest rivalries in Siena. Probably this, unlike others who argue about territory, arose from derailed arguments about economic interests in the struggle for the administration of the city.
The enmity was lifted to a higher level in the 19th century. Both neighborhoods in turn tried to bring in “Gobbo Saragiolo” (Francesco Santini) as a fantino. This top rider, who celebrated 15 victories, was not averse to bribery and defection. He was a very loyal mercenary who paid him enough. He won 3x for Oca and 5x for Torre.
Over the years, there have been various attempts at reconciliation between the two earthly rivals (the last dating from the early twentieth century), but never with success. For the torraioli, the enmity with Oca is the only one that really matters. The rivalry with neighbor Onda is one that is only recognized by Onda as enmity.
Rivalry with Nicchio
In 1934 the T.ON.O. came to an end. After the Palio the members of the Nicchio district could not accept the victory of Oca, all the more because they thought they had the strongest horse. However, the conductors of the neighborhood felt that agreements made should be honored. The alliance was broken and an enmity with Oca started. Although Oca was the dominating neighborhood after 1945, Nicchio regularly presented the 1934 bill. In 1947, Oca attacked Rubacuori of Drago, bribed by Nicchio to hinder Oca. Nicchio used the strong Vittorino as an anti-Ciancone when this grandmaster rode for Oca. In 1963 Oca deliberately made Nicchio lose, after which in 1967 Rondone gave Nicchio a good deal of lashes to Aceto, the new rising star of Oca. The heavy rivalry came to an end around 1970 when a change of generation was completed and Nicchio fully concentrated on Valdimontone as the only rival. However, the elderly in the neighborhood have never forgotten.
In the 1980s, Nicchio lent their regular fantino to Oca. In 1984 both districts won in the same year. However, they refused to honor each other. Both districts also won in 1998 in the same year.
In 2007 it became very hot again. Oca dominated the entire course, but in the final meters Nicchio came closer, even alongside. The Palio was first awarded to Nicchio to go to Oca 7 minutes later. Fortunately it did not come to a collision.
Although Oca and Nicchio no longer had any enmity, the 2007 episode brought new mutual resentment, which, however, remained stifled by their respective rivalries with Torre and Montone.
In addition, Oca grants itself 1 extra Palio, not recognized by the City of Siena:
- 17 agosto 1874: Palio “alla romana” won by Angelo Romualdi detto Girocche
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.
- Oca had 20 fantini debut since 1775
- Pirrino won on his debut
- The longest period without a debutant is 35 years : 5/9/1954-16/8/1989
|2||Sbirro Di Asciano||16/8/1791|
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.
Oca has never :
- won a cappotto
- had the cuffia
- won a straordinario when Nicchio or Onda participated
- won when they were selected as 8th (estrazione)
- won from position 3 at the start
- won a july palio after being drawn together with Aquila or Bruco or Chiocciola or Civetta or Lupa or Onda
- won an august palio after being drawn together with Aquila or Chiocciola or Civetta or Drago or Giraffa or Istrice or Lupa or Onda or Tartuca or Torre or Valdimontone
- won a palio with cavalli scossi
- won a palio when Drago was rincorsa
Last update : 17 august 2019