On 16 and 17 September and 23 and 24 September 2023, Cocconato is preparing to do its traditional dive into the past, with the medieval Fair and the Palio degli Asini (Donkey Race), and the historical re-enactment that transforms the town into a lively medieval village.

Like every year, the programme is full of events, from the medieval market to the propitiatory dinner, passing through the historical procession and, finally, the Palio, in which each district of the town of Cocconato is represented by its own team of jockeys and donkey.

Here is the 2023 programme.

The Programme

The event will occur over two weekends, culminating with the donkey race on Sunday, 24 September.

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September: the Medieval Fair

The two weekends dedicated to historical re-enactments in Cocconato open with the Medieval Fair, which will come to life starting on Saturday, 16 September at 18.00, continuing in the evening and then on Sunday, 17, starting at 10.00 am.

For the occasion, along the town’s main streets, there will be stalls and stands where scenes of medieval life will be replicated. Taverns will offer typical dishes with ancient recipes, served with local wine.

The Fair will be enlivened by medieval music, entertainment, historical games, and fire shows, creating a charming and fun atmosphere.

On Sunday afternoon, games and workshops will also be for children and families.

During the evening, the investiture of the Captain of the Palio, Giorgio Apostolo, will take place.


Sunday 24 September, 4.30 p.m.: The Donkey Palio

On Sunday, 24 September, Cocconato’s plunge into the Middle Ages climaxes with the Palio degli Asini (Donkey Palio). After the historical parade through the centre streets, the eagerly awaited competition will begin at 4.30 pm.

The traditional Medieval Dinner, scheduled for Saturday, 23 September.

The legend behind the Palio di Cocconato

The Palio stages an event that happened in Cocconato between 1200 and 1400: it all began with a fire that, in the Middle Ages, enveloped the castle of the Radicati, the lords of the feud. All the people of Cocconato rushed to help save the fortress: each accompanied by his donkey, they made their way to the bottom of the valley, where a stream flowed.

Loading barrels full of water onto the animals’ backs, they managed to extinguish the flames threatening the manor. To thank the people, the Counts called a tournament, the central part of which involved a donkey race. The winner would win the banner of the house.

This is the legend behind the Palio degli Asini di Cocconato (Palio of the Donkeys of Cocconato) …But, like every legend, it is not entirely accurate. This exciting story was invented with the palio and its banner long after the Middle Ages.

The first ideas for organising a new village festival date back to 1960, and only ten years later did the Palio take shape.

The course of the race was identified between Piazza Cavour and Piazza Giordano, and the town was divided into eight villages, which today remain 7: Borgo Airali, Borgo Brina, Borgo Colline Magre, Borgo Moransengo, Borgo San Carlo, Borgo Torre and Borgo Tuffo.

Info and booking to attend the race.: cocconatoufficioturistico@gmail.com | +39 0141 600076.

Winery visits and tastings

On the occasion of the Palio di Cocconato, our shop and cellar will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can choose between different tasting routes, and even inside our winery, you can dip into the past. The visit route retraces the Bava winery’s history, intertwined with Cocconato’s and the railway network’s development from the beginning of the 20th century.

Bottles, old images and labels from the past accompany the visit and complete the story of the wines that can then be tasted.