The “Palio Marinaro dell’Argentario” | The victory over the pirates

Times were not always so peaceful in the Tyrrhenian Sea and so the sailors and fishermen had to defend themselves more often against pirates and other buccaneers.

One day, according to the legend, pirates, “Barbary”, appeared again and targeted one of the fishing boats, a Tartarone. The fishermen were not afraid and trusted in their rowing skills, their strength and their endurance. They wrestled with the pirates in a race on the sea and won it, because with their fast boat and their local knowledge they reached in time a cave at the Punta della Cacciarella – away they went, what luck! Here, hidden and out of sight of strangers, they could celebrate their victory over the buccaneers, saved. The cave went down in history as “Grotta del turco”. The joy of the victory of the local fishermen gave birth to the Palio Marinaro, a regatta that symbolizes and celebrates the competition between the fishermen and the pirates. For centuries, the regatta has been held once a year on the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in August and still attracts many visitors from near and far.

Since 1937, four rowing boats symbolizing the four districts of Valle, Fortezza, Croce and Pilarella of Santo Stefano take part in the regatta. The endeavor is still strenuous and, amid cheers and shouts, the fishermen’s competition with the “barbary” is relived in a most lively, joyful and noisy manner.

A wonderful tradition that is still one of the highlights of the Tyrrhenian coast during the summer months. And if you are in the vicinity around August 15, you should not miss the wonderfully wet spectacle.


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EDITION 3 - 2022

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