The weekend before finals I headed into il centro one night with mio ragazzo to see gli sbandieratori, or the flag-throwers for il Palio.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see them.  However, there was a crowd around il duomo so we headed over there to see what was happening.  Outside, there were several guardie (guards) along the entrance, and, heading inside, a mass was being conducted with all of the people involved with il Paliogli sbandieratori, la corte – everyone was there and most were in costumes.  It was pretty cool!  (taken 2.5.2015)