You may be wondering about the names of our apartments. Well I am here to explain it all.
On August 15, 1997, I had the great honor of being baptized into the Contrada della Selva (read about Contradas on my blog post The Palio of Siena and its Contrade). From that day I, like those born into a Contrada, dreamed of winning a Palio. That year we did not win though. My first child was born in 1998 and again we did not win. 1999, we did not win. My second child was born in 2000 and for the July and August Palios we did not win BUT, that year there was a special Palio held in September for the new Millenium and WE WON! The name of the horse that we won with is Urban II. This is where the idea for the names of the apartments came in. We need to honor the true heroes of the Palio.
I am not a fan of the jockeys (more on that later) but I adore the horses. They are so noble. When they are not racing or doing practice runs, they are giving joy to all around. They sleep in a special stall in the Contrada, they have many taking care of them, they are brushed and they are loved.
Zodiach was the horse that we won with in July 2003. Caro Amico is the horse that we won with in August 2006, Fedora Saura we won with in July 2010 and Polonski we won with in August of 2015.
We have won 5 times since I was baptized but we have 6 apartments. What to do, what to do? The only thing to do is to honor Panezio, a horse we won with in August of 1974 and September of 1980 (a special Palio in commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the death of Saint Catherine of Siena). Born in 1968, he was the “Re della Piazza” (King of the Piazza) winning 8 Palii out of the 20 he raced in from 1972 until 1984 (his last victory was in 1983). Here below is his tomb and a beautiful picture of him. You can visit his tomb while you are here.
Now about those jockeys. The picture at the top of this post is my favorite of all time. The look on the losing jockey’s face (coming in second is losing) thrills me to no end. That is the one jockey I truly dislike (and I have to drive by his house daily). To get the gossip, come stay with us and I will fill you in!