The “Carriera” was a horse race in honour of St. Augustine, patron Saint of Carpineto. It has been celebrated since the Middle Ages, reasserted in the Statutes and Ordinances of Carpineto territory in the XVI century and confirmed from archive documents from the XVI to the XIX century. The “Pallio” (spelling used in the XVII century) was a precious cloth offered by the feudal lord, who lavished it after the plea of the town council. The present historical re-enactment is set in 1622, to remember the taking possession of the feud of Carpineto by Lady Olimpia, the Aldobrandini princess, who transformed it into a dukedom, including – at a later stage - the neighbouring Lepini territories of Gavignano, Montelanico, Gorga and Maenza. The “beautiful state” of Carpineto was thus established, rich in works of art and churches, which – in the XVII century – hosted a painting attributed to Caravaggio.
The Pallio della Carriera nowadays
The current costume historical re-enactment is set in the period of maximum splendour of the Aldobrandini family, and in particular under the dukedom of Lady Olimpia Aldobrandini. It recalls religious festivities in the 7 districts together with civic celebrations, such as, among others, the pairing of horses, riders and districts; the “imbussolamento” in St. James Church; and the offering of large candles on the eve of the Patron St. Augustine’s celebration (27 August) in the Collegiate church. The "Pallio", however, is not only a historical re-enactment but especially an occasion for community-building based on a cultural program (exhibits, conferences, film screenings, theatre performances), crafts-making, and music and artistic performances with “street artists” during the month of August.
The costumes of the “Pallio della Carriera” draw inspiration from XVII century costumes and especially from Caravaggio and his school, and the heraldic colours belonging to the aristocratic families in Carpineto. The historical parade consists of people wearing rich and magnificent costumes, made in the sartorial shops situated in the 7 historical districts of the town. Apart from the members of the Aldobrandini family and the aristocracy, the parade gives a real picture of what society was like in Carpineto in the XVII century. It includes shepherds, farmers, bandits, craftsmen and the “utteri lepini” (Lepini children).
The colours Visitors who wish to be part of such a kaleidoscope of colours do not need a guide to discover the ancient “Land of Carpineto”; all they have to do is to follow the colours of the flags, the tapestries and even of the flower boxes of the 7 historical districts, reminding the ancient medieval divisions. Here follow the names of the districts and their colours:
JO LACO DISTRICT: red and gold bordered with blue;
JO CASTEGLIO DISTRICT: pink and green bordered with blue;
JO CURSO DISTRICT: gold bordered with blue;
SAN GNACO DISTRICT: gold and black bordered with blue;
JO MORO DISTRICT: red and blue bordered with silver;
ST. AUGUSTINE DISTRICT: red and black bordered with silver;
ST. PETER DISTRICT: red and white bordered with tobacco.
Carpineto Romano: the land of Pope Leo XIII
Carpineto Romano (in the province of Rome) was inhabited by the Volscians, the Latins and later by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, it was ruled by the landowners of Ceccano and the Earls of Segni and, from the XVI century, by the Aldobrandini, who bought it in 1597. Princess Olimpia Aldobrandini changed it into a dukedom. This was a really flourishing artistic period for the “beautiful state of Lady Olimpia Aldobrandini” - as she loved to call it. At the end of the XVIII century and under Napoleon’s Empire, Carpineto was affected by banditry but it was also during such a troubled period that Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci was born (1810-1903), the man who later became Pope Leo XIII (1878 - 1903). Thanks to him, Carpineto became famous all over the world.
THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS
Historical parade – Sunday before the Patron St. Augustine’s festival (in the town streets) Four hundred people wearing XVII century costumes gather at the Peschiera door to greet the arrival of Lady Olimpia Aldobrandini to her beautiful dukedom. The historical parade, enriched with theatre performances, shows daily life scenes in the streets of the feud in the XVII century.
Horse race - Sunday after St. Augustine’s celebration day (in the soccer field) The historical parade accompanies the visitors until the Campo de li giochi where, following breathtaking performances of the “Sbandieratori e musici dei sette rioni storici” (flag flyers and musicians of the 7 historical districts) and of the “utteri Lepini” (Lepini children), a ring-shooting horse race takes place. The riders of the 7 historical districts participate in such race in order to win the Pallio and the victory is followed by long celebrations organised by the winning district.
Aldobrandini Hostarie – Opening at the end of August A world of farmers and shepherds, obliged to transhumance, expressed itself in a cooking tradition based on simple ingredients. A taste of these old recipes can be found in the district hostarie in dishes such as, among others, gnocchi, polenta, homemade macaroni, sausages, kid and game with essential seasoning and herbs from the Lepini mountains. All of this accompanied by local bread and oil, mushrooms and fine black truffle. In addition to food, visitors will also enjoy the traditional costumes and music as well as the beautiful settings of the hostarie, showing, for example, the limestone walls of old oil mills dating back even to the Middle Ages. A pleasure even for the most demanding guests.
San Pietro 3392751576
Jo Moro 3487733231
San Gnaco 3482843322
Jo Curso 3402659832
Jo Casteglio 3338392227
Jo Laco 3774744616
“Imbussolamento” (the rite of pairing horses, riders and districts for the Pallio): end of July – St. James Church
Propitiatory parties in the seven historical districts: first half of August (in the streets of the seven districts)
Opening of the seven Aldobrandini districts’ “hostarie”: second half of August (in the streets of the seven districts)
Offering of large candles to the patron Saint Augustine: 27th August (Collegiate Church)
Historical parade: Sunday before the Patron St. Augustine’s festival (in the town’s streets)
The Patron St. Augustine festival: 28th August
The ring shooting horse race: Sunday after St. Augustine’s celebration day (in the soccer field)