Traditional Barrels Race in Nizza Monferrato
The industry of barrel making in Monferrato is centered around Nizza Monferrato, to provide “botti” (barrels) to local wine producers.
The completed barrels, weighing around 100kilos, were rolled from their factory to the wine warehouses by young garzoni, who sometimes, could not resist the temptation to race their comrades down the city’s streets. That bit of 19th century fun, came to be a tradition in Nizza, that remains today. Of course, every year Nizzese are out, lining the streets and piazzas, shouting encouragment to their sons and favorites.
Every year in June, teams from the local wine estates, cooperatives and private producers compete along a course of winding, cobbled streets. Each team is made up of 3 “pushers” in alternation, and a chief.
The program is:
A grand food and wine party, called Monferrato in Tavola, in its own right, takes over the city’s central Piazza Garibaldi.
With the stalls of 13 Pro Loco (civic groups from surrounding villages) providing the race spectators with rich menus of local plates.
A market of agricultural and artisanal goods will also be in Piazza Garibaldi. Tokens, called Carlini , after the city’s patron San Carlo, are used to buy the plates and glasses of wine.
Open to the public. Free attempt.
Address and contacts
Comune of Nizza Monferrato (organizer)
P.zza Martiri d’Alessandria n. 19
14049 Nizza Monferrato AT
Phone: +39 0141 720511
video excerpt courtesy of Comune di Nizza Monferrato
Nizza Monferrato AL
10 and 11 June