I've mentioned our Palio ceramic ware before, but I thought you'd be interested to know a little history behind this unique and ever-so-cheerful glaze ware.
The Palio di Siena is a horse race (commemorating the Virgin Mary) that takes place twice a year around the Piazza del Campo in the little Italian town of Siena. It has been a tradition since Medieval times and undergone many variations, although the basic concept remains the same. Originally, the riders were on bison, then on donkeys and ever since 1656, on horseback.
Rival wards (or districts) of the city prepare all year for these competitive races. The winning ward has its name inscribed on a silver platter and it is awarded a large, elongated silk banner to display in their district until the next year's competition.
There are a total of 17 wards in Siena and 10 of them participate in the bareback horse race each year. The race consists of three times around the Piazza in approximately 90 seconds.
Every ward has its own heraldry with an animal or icon and particular colors and designs associated with it.
The 17 wards are represented by an EAGLE, CATERPILLER, SNAIL, LITTLE OWL, DRAGON, GIRAFFE, CRESTED PORCUPINE, UNICORN, SHE-WOLF, SEASHELL, GOOSE, WAVE, PANTHER, FOREST, TORTOISE, TOWER, and VALLEY OF THE RAM.
Most of our collectors opt to buy a mixture of all the designs, but some want only one favorite design on their table. Whatever way you choose, these plates, bowls and serving pieces are sure to make you smile every time you use them.
The pieces sell individually, so you can buy just a mug or a whole service. The Dinner Plates sell for $132., the Salads for $118., Desserts plates are $96., Cereal Bowls $ 84. and Mugs $57. We always keep a Large and a Small Biscotti Jar on hand and they sell for $238. and $162. Any of the other items we can order for you from Italy. They usually take a month to receive.
If you would like to start your collection today, call Betty at the Boutique. Until next time,Ciao, bella !