The “Palio” was one of the most typical italian performances in the Middle Ages. It was the most famous and popular performance to celebrate important events of a Community.
In the Como territory this “expression” was not so much used; nevertheless the spirit, full of colours and suggestions towards this kind of performances was very keen in the people’s mind.
As a matter of fact, particularly important testimonies on the custom of such performances have been handed down to us by famous Como historians. The most famous and mentioned one certainly concerns the performance kept in occasion of the arrival in Como (summer of 1159) of the Swabian Emperor Frederick 1st, named Barbarassa, together with his wife the Empress Beatrix of Burgundy, after the victorious siege to Milan of 1158. Victory was achieved with the determinant support of the troops of Como, Lodi and Pavia. Here below a short and meaningful historical quotation about this exceptional imperial visit and the magnificent welcome reserved to Barbarossa by the people of Como: “…5ociorum civitas dies festos edit et magna benignitate cum recipit; solemmes epulac, festiva nosturnis facibus lumina, militum decursus, aquatici ludi et torneius aequestri in eius honorem aparantus…” “… The allied town Como bestowed great honours and welcome: great banquets, illuminations, con tests on the lake and horseraces are held in his honour…”. And itis on the basis of what written in these papers that the “Palio of Baradello”, perfectly complying with the theme, arises again, fram the first to the second Sunday of September, as a complete cultura I and civic fact. Como is reliving today through the “Palio” a glorious historical past of which the town is proud. The “Palio” is disputed among the town suburbs and some communes of Como district, in order to win the “pallium”, artistic silk drape yearly new hand-painted by skilful Como artists. The competitors face each other in three spectacular and strongly fighted local competitions: “THE JOUST” (a horserace) “THE WHEELBARROWRACE” (a very laborious competition made by a couple with characteristic wooden wheelbarrowes) and “THE REGATA” (competition on the lake made by typical Luciaboats). The magnificent “HISTORICAL PROCESSI0N” on the second Sunday of September, passing along the duly festa I dressed town, shortly before the final REGATA, intends to recall, along with ali historical characters, the triumphal visit of Barbarossa to Como, grateful for what Emperar signified at that time to the town and his history. – See more at: http://www.lagodicomo.com/english/palio_del_baradello.php#sthash.kGewHJm7.dpuf