“Palio” of Santa Maria di Corte

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Each year around Candlemas (2 February) the “Palio” of Santa Maria di Corte (also known as the “Palio Mombellese”) takes place in Laveno Mombello.   

A “Palio” is a contest, often a horse race, between the different districts of a town. This “Palio”, organised by the Cultural Association of Santa Maria di Corte, involves each district acting a play in seven minutes, following rules laid down by the organising committee and by the districts.

The theme of the acting contest changes each year, and the plays can be acted in Italian or dialect.

After the winner of the “Palio” has been declared and the prize awarded, there is a service in the Church of Santa Maria di Corte, an auction of baskets, a traditional raffle (“Lotteria del Berin”), and mulled wine for all.

This tradition is kept up enthusiastically by the residents in the lakeside area of Laveno, who devote a great deal of time to its organisation and accept the challenge in a spirit of friendly rivalry between districts.