Il Palio del Boscaiolo
An enchanting celebration of ancient lumberjack traditions
The lumberjack palio is a unique event designed to restore the authentic traditions of the woodcutters, those who for centuries cut down the woods of Mount Amiata, protecting a legacy of techniques and knowledge. This exhibition takes place every third Sunday of October in Vivo d’Orcia, a small village which is still, from a naturalistic point of view, one of the most remarkable in the whole area. Found in thick chestnut woods at an average altitude of 930 m (above sea level), Vivo d’Orcia is divided into two different districts, Caselle (downstream area) and Pian delle Mura (upriver area) competing against each other in the medieval village of the Hermitage.
The competition consists of cutting – using the traditional “seghone” – a 60cm diameter log into six parts to make six chairs, and another trunk around 25cm in diameter to make six bowls to contain the polenta that is prepared in the meantime by those competitors not involved in the woodcutting.
The competition ends when all six competitors from each district are seated at the table with their bowls full of polenta. The winner is awarded the Palio, a banner painted by local artists.