Celebration of Sant'Ansano
On Dec. 1, the contrade's solemn procession to celebrate the patron saint and kick off the Contradaiolo Year
On December 1, Siena celebrates its patron saint, Ansano, and also the beginning of the Contradaiolo Year. With a solemn procession beginning in Piazza del Campo, the 17 Contrade arrive at the Duomo where, at the altar of the saint, mass is celebrated by the Archbishop of Siena.
Perhaps not everyone knows that there are actually four patron saints of the city: Ansanus, Savinus, Victor and Crescentius, and they are all also represented in the statues in the Loggia della Mercanzia.
Fun fact: The statues of the four saints all look north. Do you know why? It is said that this is because the real danger, for Siena, can only come from the north, since, beyond Porta Camollia, begins the road that leads to the "enemy" par excellence, Florence.
Photo credit: By Rabe! - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34940906