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|Colors||Gold-yellow with a black and blue band|
|Terzo||Terzo di Città|
|Headquarters||Casato di sotto 86|
|Clubhouse||Il Rostro, Vicolo del Verchione|
|Oratory||Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista|
|Paitron saint||Santissimo Nome di Maria (12 september)|
|Enemie(s)||Pantera (dal 1947)|
|Allied contrade||Civetta (dal 1718)|
Pantera (dal 1730 al 1947)
Drago (dal 1788)
Oca (dal 1911 al 1921)
|Victories||24 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:
- Casato di Sotto (from Piazza del Campo untill Costa Larga)
- Costa Larga
- via di Monna Agnese (partially)
- piazza del Duomo (except Palazzo Arcivescovile and the Duomo)
- via del Capitano
- chiasso del Bargello (partially)
- piazza Jacopo della Quercia
- vicolo dei Percennesi
- vicolo di Tone
- vicolo del Verchione
- via del Poggio
- via di Città (partially)
- via San Pietro
- piazza Postierla
- via delle Campane (partially)
- via del Castoro
The Aquila emblem (two-headed eagle) has its origins in the coat of arms of the noble Marescotti family, who lived in the territory.
Aquila is the neighborhood that chronologically last started to participate in the Palio. In 1610 they won the Bufalata (race with buffalo). From 1622 they disappeared from all public parties. In 1718, at the initiative of “cavaliere” Giovanni Antonio Pecci, they were allowed by the Biccherna (magistrates of the City) to participate in the Palio of August (won by Chiocciola). With this they provoked the neighboring neighborhoods (Onda, Tartuca, Pantera and Selva) that had divided the territory of Aquila among them because Aquila was considered an extinct neighborhood (Contrada Soppressa).
The following year, on July 2, 1719, Aquila won his first Palio with Strega at Vegliantino. The drappellone can still be seen in the museum and is the oldest preserved in Siena.
The district received the title of Nobile from Carlo V d’Asburgo on his visit to Siena in 1536.
Important locations and Festa Titolare
The Oratory of Aquila is the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista, located in via del Casato, già della Congregazione dei Tredicini. The church was designed by Flaminio del Turco and given in concession to the neighborhood in 1788.
The baptismal fountain is on Piazza di Postierla and was made by sculptor Bruno Buracchini in 1963. On the base we read the district’s motto: “Unguis et Rostris”.
The Festa Titolare in honor of patron saint Santissimo Nome di Maria is celebrated on September 12.
Aquila and the Palio
Aquila has 24 officially recognized victories. The last one was on July 3, 1992, with Andrea Degortes (Aceto) on Galleggiante.
To date, Aquila has never won a Cappotto.
Between 2 July 1837 and 15 August 1871, Aquila won no Palio for 34 years. Aquila wore la cuffia up to 4 times (longest time without victory). Since July 2, 2016, and the victory of Lupa, they are again the ‘nonna’ of the Palio.
The motto of the Contrada, Unguibus et Rostris, seems to be derived from that of the French city of Avignon: Unguibus et Rostro.
Aquila is the only neighborhood that has ever driven a Palio with a woman. On August 16, 1957, Rosanna Bonelli (detto Diavola, later known as Rompicollo, named after an operetta written by her father) rode the Palio for Aquila. She became known as stand-in for Diana Dors in “La Ragazza del Palio”. She did all the scenes on horseback. As a stunt, to promote the film, the film producers have done everything they can to find a neighborhood that wants to work with her. Eventually they were able to convince the captain of Aquila. It was not the best race, after a difficult start she fell in the second San Martino. Rompicollo himself wrote history and became Aquila contradaiolo who even awarded her the title of “honorary jockey.”
Rivalry with Pantera
Aquila and Pantera go through life in fierce rivalry with each other. Unlike many others, this rivalry is not based on classical border disputes, but because of facts that took place during a race. The,rivalry has nothing to do with incidents between the two neighborhoods, but arose from the enmity between fantini.
On the occasion of the Palio of August 16, 1936, Pantera Ruello was assigned. This horse won his last 4 races and was therefore top favorite. Fantino was Corrado Meloni detto Meloncino. Pantera naturally wanted to win and enjoyed the support of Aquila, who was even an alleae at the time. Aquila was assigned Rondinella and chose Fernando Leoni detto Ganascia as a fantino. The problem was that the two jockeys had a gigantic hatred towards each other. During the Palio of July 1933, Ganascia had tackled 53-year-old Angelo Meloni detto Picino (father of, yes, Meloncino) hard with the whip. This was his last course for the old Picino. Ganascia won that race for Tartuca. Ganascia also won in August 1933, winning the Cappotto for Tartuca. The hate between Ganascia and the Meloni family that had grown out of this incident peaked in 1936.
As expected, Ganascia hindered Meloncino at the start so that he could put away all the ambitions to win the Palio. Relations between the two neighborhoods became tense. On paper, they remained ominous, but in 1939 and 1946, too, conflicts occurred. During the Festa Titolare of Aquila on 8 September 1947, a lot of reproaches were thrown towards Pantera by a speaker. This was the straw that dissolved the alliance and turned it into an official rivalry, which is still felt today.
A perfect example of the harshness of the rivalry between the two neighborhoods is the Palio of 2 July 1992. Aquila was assigned the fast Galleggiante and decided to appeal to Aceto (Andrea Degortes). In order to rob the enemy of the victory, Pantera called on Sebastiano Deledda detto Legno. The priority was: to hinder Aceto and ensure that Aquila would lose.
Legno followed the instructions perfectly. Even before the start, he provoked Aceto that it led to a rarely seen exchange of lashes between the ropes. Since the penalties are only pronounced after the Palio, they could still participate in the race. (Aceto received 1 palio suspension, Legno no less than 5). Even after this, Legno continues its actions. Both leave last.
Pantera, with the fast Zucchero, does an unlikely remonte and runs first in the San Martino. Aceto starts a catch-up race. In the second round Pantera is first and Aquila second. At Fonte Gaia, Pantera falls in a very bizarre way so that Aquila can grab the head. Aceto wins his 14th and last Palio.
In addition, Aquila attributes itself to 4 more victories, not recognized by the city of Siena:
- 1610: bufalata won by fantino Nottolone.
- 1614: Gioco delle pugna (fist battles) fought on the Piazza del Carmine.
- 1622: bufalata won by fantino Menico.
- 17 agosto 1841: second place in a Palio straordinario driven by all neighborhoods of the city.
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.
- Aquila had 25 fantini debut since 1775
- Il Moro won on his debut
- The longest period without a debutant is 35 years: 2/7/1922-16/8/1957
|3||Figlio Di Stecco||16/8/1838|
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.
Aquila has never :
- won a cappotto
- won a palio in the 21st century
- won when they rode together with Bruco and Onda, Bruco and Selva, Nicchio and Selva and Pantera and Selva
- won in July when Selva also rode
- won with a fantino that also won in Onda
- won when they were selected as 4th, 5th or 6th (estrazione)
- won from 3rd, 5th or 6th position at the start
- won when they were at the start next to Bruco, Civetta, Nicchio, Onda or Selva
- won a palio when they were drawn together with Chiocciola, Civetta, Drago, Istrice, Lupa, Nicchio, Oca, Onda, Selva, Tartuca or Torre
- won a palio in August after they were drawn by lottery
- won a palio alla romana
- won a palio with Bruco, Drago or Oca as the rincorsa
Last update : 15 november 2019