The Tuscan town of Volterra hosted its annual cheese-rolling race (‘Palio dei Caci’) on Sunday, a bizarre tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages.
Eight competitors, each armed with two wooden palettes, carefully manoeuvred the cheese through a straw obstacle course down ‘Franceschini’s’ hill. Whoever reaches the bottom first gets to take home the grand prize, none other than the wheel of cheese itself.
“We have these two palettes, one long and one short. The short one we can use only for picking up the cheese when it falls, while the longer one can be used for commanding the cheese: slowing down, speeding up, giving it direction to the right or left,” explained a competitor.
Both contestants and spectators don traditional clothing for the event which is considered a historical re-enactment as much as it is considered a race. The fun-loving town also hosts several other historic re-enactments throughout the year.
The race takes place in Volterra every year on the last Sunday of October.