THE CONTRADE, THE PALIO, AND THE BEN COMUNE:LESSONS FROM SIENA
Tallinn University of Technology
Abstract. Siena’s unusually high level of both wealth and social capital and extremely low level of crime make it, in spite of all its specificity, an obvious object of lesson-drawing for other communities. The reason of Siena’s success seems to be the historic contrade system, which again is closely linked to the famous horse-race, the Palio. Based on recent literature, and corroborated in situ, this essay sets out to investigate how the Palio-contrade complex works today, what effects and side-effects it has, and what lessons might be drawn from it.
Keywords: Siena, contrade, Palio, social capital, Monte dei Paschi