Pushing the barrel along the streets: il Bravìo delle Botti

Without any doubt the best month to visit Montepulciano is August since it is full of celebrations. The one that is the most engaging for Montepulciano inhabitants is definitely the Bravìo delle Botti, a race in which two people for each contrada have to push a 80 kg barrel along the steep village streets up to the main square. There are 8 contrade each of them representing one of the 8 parts in which the village has been divided ever since the Renaissance.

During the week there are cooking competitions, parades, contests to decide who the best drummer, the best flag-waver and the best parade will be. Despite the rivalry between the contrade, the mood is very relaxed and serene while everyone is having a good time.

Montepulciano inhabitants are so fond of the Bravìo that those who live away specifically come back for the Bravìo and for all of them the day of the race, though it should be a cheerful one, is in truth the saddest because everything will be over the following day.

The Bravìo is like an Epiphany, the end of the summertime after which September comes and with it so do schools open and people go back to working and harvesting. Autumn eventually arrives.