Documentary photography is a great way to learn and share information on a subject. On September 6th, 2009, we headed to Siena in Tuscany. We were in Italy for 3 weeks and Siena was definitely part of the trip. The visit of Siena was exactly as expected: Nice and old buildings, the Piazza del Campo, the Mangia Tower and the Santa Maria Church are magnificent sight. We were not on a rush and took some time with a bottle of Chianti.
The afternoon was heading into dinner time when we heard the sound of drums.
Documentary Photography – The story behind the picture.
Siena kept its ward culture from the medieval time. An animal represent each ward. Each year, during the Annual Horse race, aka the Palio, the rivalry among wards increases.
You see here a member of the Lupa, aka She-Wolf, ward. The Lupa ward is to the north of the Piazza del Campo. Historically, they were bakers. A female wolf nursing twins is the symbol of the Lupa Ward. You can learn more about the Contade of Siena on Wikipedia.
From a street, north of Piazza del Campo, a group of citizen in costume came in with drums, flags and so on. The Lupa Ward work its way in the street to the Piazza del Campo.
I did not research this information before heading to Siena. I relied only on tourist guides. Tourist guide seldom describe cultural activities. . Back home, I research it and found out about the Contrade de Siena, the Palio and this medieval culture that persist over hundreds of years.
By researching in advance, instead of pure luck, you will be sure to get the most out of your trip. Without the great Chianti we had in this late afternoon, we would have left the place before Lupa’s show.
Should you do like me and witness something worth researching… Takes plenty of picture and use Wikipedia afterward to find out about it.