Unbridled Spirit: The Untold Story of the 2018 Extraordinary Palio in Siena, Italy (Paperback)
Once in a great while the people of Siena, Italy organize a special horse race beyond the normal Palio events of July and August. Known as a Straordinario, or Extraordinary Palio, the city's seventeen timeless contrade (neighborhoods) reserve such events to honor only the most significant occasions, not the least being the Apollo 11 lunar landing and the turn of the millennium. Eighteen years would pass before the next Straordinario featured herein, which arguably pulled the community quite outside its comfort zone. Unbridled Spirit invites readers to dive into the locally contentious effort in October, 2018 to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. Upon Siena's whirlwind decision to hold the event, Thomas Paradis visited off-season to explore the history and meanings of the war and to experience a rare October Palio that came close to not happening at all.
Whether you are a newcomer or more familiar with Siena's Palio, Unbridled Spirit offers intriguing local stories and perspectives that help us appreciate what the Palio means to Siena, and how its people rallied to encourage a unique centenary reflection on La Grande Guerra--the Great War. Includes illustrations, glossary, bibliography, and notes.