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THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2017 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS T his is the story of a horse that changed the Palio of Siena, the most famous equestrian race in the world. Documents attest its existence starting from 1238, although it probably had been running for some time already in the splen- did Tuscan town, fiercely divi- ded today into 17 aggressive rival districts. We are going to tell you all about it, because the Palio embodies two things: com- plexity and variety. For complexity we mean that, behind what seems to be a histo- rical re-enactment, a tourist fair, a package ready for summer tra- velers, there is an articulated world of values making you understand how alive and well some manifestations of Italian folklore are. Understanding this is crucial to fully appreciate the essence of certain Italian loca- tions and their profound and vital territorial identity. F o r variety w e mean the thousands of possibilities Italy offers. There is no place in the country that doesn't have a story to tell, a monument to see or a s urpris ing variety of local customs, typical food or craft creations to experience and see. When thinking of Italy, unmissable cities such as Venice, F lorence, Rome and N aples come to mind, but if you are lucky enough to visit the Bel Paese, you are always bound to miss something: for each desti- nation you choose, there will be millions of possible alternatives. There is more: classic destina- tions can be appreciated differen- tly if you look beyond appearan- ces. This story about Siena, charming town known for its beauty and the Palio, is demon- stration of it. Tornasol is the name of the beautiful, shiny black horse that monopolized the Palio's live broadcas t from s tupendous Piazza del Campo for one hour and a half – an extremely long time in tv standards. A Piazza del Campo filled with an enthu- siastic audience, lively rivalries and curious tourists that came from all over the world to assist to one of the most famous folklo- ristic and traditional events of the Italian summer. This untamable newcomer to the Palio, that loves fodder and children and is s o docile he would put his head on the shoul- der of a little boy he just met to s hare a cuddle, w as born in Sardinia but has strong ties with two famous cultural institution in Los Angeles. He was bought three years ago by Mark Getty, grandson of collector Jean Paul. Tornasol is registered in the equine Register, which does not only include the faster horses, but also the stronger and more promising. All the cards to beco- me a winner were laid upon his mane, but beneath his hooves was the choice not to run. He demonstrated a fierce and convincing res is tance to his jockey, the expert and navigated Trecciolino (Luigi Bruschelli), who tried to lead him conscien- tiously –but in vain - on the star- ting line of the first of the two races held each summer in Siena, on July 2nd for the Madonna of P rovenzano (in the G iraffa dis trict, w hich then w on the fastest turns around the Campo), and on August 16th in honor of the Madonna's Assumption. Nothing and no one, not even his trusted barbaresque, the sta- bleman who offered caresses and whispers, could reassure the Anglo-Arab half-blood, a perfect selection for the Siena race, that in the pre-qualifiers hadn't shown any hesitation, succeeding in each and every one of them. This year , Tornasol told the story of a different Palio, unvei- ling the pleasure of surprise, discovery and of the unexpected, the ingredients making our expe- riences authentic, our journeys and paths unique, giving us that variety of colors, freshness of flavors and range of emotions that make our memories dear to both the heart and the mind. First of all, Tornasol gave time to more than 15,000 people in P iazza del Campo and to viewers in half of the world, riveted to T.V. for the spectacle, to admire the splendor of Siena, to fall in love with the deep and millenary history of a city that not only puts on a tourist show, but lives it dramatically throu- ghout the year. Because belon- ging to a district is a real soma- tic trait in Siena: this is how much the town's own medieval heritage is still felt among its people. Italy is extraordinarily rich in this type of events. Next to Siena there is the Italy of a thousand bell towers, villages, towns, cities, provinces and metropolitan areas, the Italy of 7,978 municipalities, all with a long history on their shoulders and mountains of things to see. Millions of sagre, festivals, exhi- bitions, palii, and feasts telling us about the heritage of a coun- try full of practices and customs at once ancient and always new, to the point that in the age satel- lite tracking systems and high technology, the tale of an unruly horse is sufficient to show us, once more, a new face of the country. Tales of a thousand and one Italy to discover BARBARA MINAFRA

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