Giglio Island: folklore and tradition of the maritime palio

Each locality of Giglio Island has its own customs, traditions, rituals. Moments that involve the entire population. Such as the maritime palio that takes place evey year in Giglio Porto.


Giglio Porto

This is the location of the maritime palio. For the record, it takes place on August 10 of each year, the day of the feast of San Lorenzo, the patron saint of Giglio Porto. What is at stake? Simply, the honor of being considered the best crew of the whole island.


Three crews for three quarters

The maritime palio is a very heated challenge, and it’s strongly felt by Giglio Island population. Because the three crews represent the three quarters of the town, each of them with its own colors:

  • Chiesa (white and green)
  • Moletto (yellow and pale blue)
  • Saraceno (red and black)

The maritime palio is a tradition that combines the sacred and the profane. Before the palio begins, crews participate at the Holy Mass and at the procession in honor of the saint. Then, crews parade along the streets of Giglio Porto.


The maritime palio

The maritime palio begins in the evening. Crews are three, on every boat there are five men, four rowers and a helmsman. The boats are heavy fishing boats with four oars, a boat traditionally used by fishermen. Spurred by the helmsman and by the spectators, the boats run exactly 2 thousand meters in the waters of Giglio Porto.


And after the maritime palio…

The feast continues on the seafront of Giglio Porto: there are the fireworks show to see, the typical dishes of the island of Giglio to taste, the traditional songs of the island.


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