Italian traditions: The Palio dij Cossot in Alpignano, Torino

Jul 22, 2014 727

WTI Magazine #40    2014 July, 23
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Located on the Via Francigena, a place of transit for travelers and pilgrims headed to Santiago de Compostela, the community of Alpignano chose probably since the High Middle Ages Saint Giacomo Maggiore as its patron saint, dedicating to him the old little chapel once located on the road to Caselette.

The devotion to St. Giacomo is celebrated every year with a varied program, including the suggestive Palio, tied with the epithet which once was used to define people from Alpigano: "mangia cossòt" (eat zucchini), referring to the pumpkin that in the traditional iconography is depicted hanging on the stick of the Apostle missionary in Spain.

The Palio dij Cossòt, race of speed and dexterity, is a relay race through the streets of the historic center, held by the four districts of Alpignano: a challenge to bring back to the goal line all the water contained in the pumpkins, "the cossòt", brought to the shoulders. The winner district will receive the Palio banner.

The Palio is inserted into the frame of the exciting reconstruction of armed battle that in 1678 saw in Alpignano the army of Louis XIV of France opposed to the Savoy troops and allies.

The reenactment has now entered in the tradition of the small village and it is an excellent opportunity to learn about Alpignano: the old town will be the suggestive theater of the battles, in which many military groups will have a role; there will also be scenes of everyday vintage life, folk and noble dances, ancient crafts, military camps and pageants.

For this edition the night battle will be played along the streets of the historic center, followed by a spectacular fire on the bridge.

This occasion offers numerous possibilities of dining, wine tasting and charming traditional inn with typical menus.

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