Museo della Contrada Imperiale della Giraffa
“The higher the head, the greater the glory” is the neighbourhood’s motto
The Museum of the Giraffe neighbourhood is located under the Collegiata di Santa Maria in Provenzano (Collegiate Church of Our Lady in Provenzano). The Oratory, dedicated to the Visitation of Our Lady, belonged to the Order of Suffrage; the Giraffa neighbourhood has owned it since 1824. The museum was created to preserve the various palii (banners won in the Palio races, also known as drappelloni), memorabilia and documents relating to the history of the neighbourhood.
Some of the Palio drappelloni are of great artistic interest, painted by important artists such as Guttuso (1971), Vespignani (1983) and Tommasi Ferroni (1986). One curiosity held in the Museum is the “stolen” drappellone, with its preparatory sketch: in 1967 the cencio (meaning “rag”, a nickname for the drappellone) was taken as a joke by some students, who only returned it after the Palio, so the Giraffa had to do their lap of honour holding just the sketch of the drappellone.