Siena’s Palio and the Istrice Contrada in the Grand Master’s Meeting
Fra’ Matthew Festing received in the Magistral Palace the Prior of the Sovereign Contrada of the Istrice Nicoletta Fabio and the members of the Seggio. In recognition of the historical bond between the Order of Malta and the Istrice, Fra’ Matthew Festing decorated the Contrada’s flag with the Cross of Merito Melitense.
The Order of Malta has an ancient link with the Istrice in Siena since it its headquarters and its hospital were in this contrada’s ward during the 14th century. To seal this link, in 1980 the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Angelo de Mojana di Cologna, granted the Contrada the privilege of inserting the white octagonal cross in its coat-of-arms and to take the title of “Sovereign”.
The meeting, rich in stories and anecdotes regarding the Palio of Siena, ended with the Prior’s invitation to the Grand Master to watch the next Palio in July 2017.