Galleria fotografica Siena

Palazzo Pubblico

The Siena Duomo

The Mosaic floor and the Porta del Cielo

Ospedale Santa Maria della Scala

Palazzo Piccolomini and the Archivio di Stato di Siena

Basilica dei Servi

Some of the best Restaurants in Siena 

Food shopping addresses in Siena

L’Orto de’Pecci

The Palio

Foundation of Siena

Sienese School of Painting

Fonti di Siena


The Siena area



Il Palio di Siena

I T Rosanna Bonelli, known as Rompicollo [1]

Toacana ] Galleria di immagini  

Siena | Il Palio di Siena | Rosanna Bonelli, the only women jockey of the Palio, known by everyone in Siena as Rompicollo


On August 16th 1957 Rosanna Bonelli, a young Sienese daughter of a famous writer, raced in the Palio as the first woman jockey in the Nobile Contrada dell'Aquila. [1]

Palio di Siena

Sienese by birth, Bonelli had attended the riding school in Florence and during the fifties participated in various horse racing competitions. In 1957 he was in Siena, during the period in which Luigi Zampa shot the film La ragazza del Palio (with Vittorio Gassman and Diana Dors, watch the trailer here). During a break in filming, Bonelli managed to sneak into the entrance where the jockeys were present, and, with the complicity of the jockey Fernando Leoni, called Ganascia, managed to ride on horseback and make some laps on the tuff of Piazza del Campo. Randomness then wanted the protagonist's stunt rider to get injured: Bonelli proposed and was chosen as a substitute.



She raced first in a mock Palio race staged for the shooting crew, in place of the jockey of the "Pantera" contrade (unbeknownst to the film production) and then as a stuntwoman for Ms. Dors in the victory scenes, riding the mare Gaudenzia.
That helped Rosanna Bonelli's rise to local fame and to crown her dream to run in the real Palio race of August 16, 1957 racing for the contrade Aquila, her first and last race on Siena's scenic Piazza del Campo, and although she didn't finish in first place like the film's heroine, she was bestowed the title of honorary jockey by the contrada.
Bonelli took part in three prove (test Palios), winning two, and was officially marked with the nickname Diavola, although she is still known to all as Rompicollo, from the title of a famous operetta written by her father Luigi Bonelli (892-1954). At the Palio she set off in the back, but launched into a great comeback against Giorgio Terni, known as Vittorino del Nicchio. During the chase she hindered the Tore contrada (Rosario Pecoraro called Tristezza) and then, at the second curve of San Martino, she fell, dragged by Romano Corsini called Romanino della Lupa.

Presence at the Palio di Siena


Contrada Cavallo Note
16 agosto 1957 Aquila Percina (scosso)

Voglio essere Rompicollo, la vera storia della ragazza del Palio [Trailer]

A film by Antonio Bartoli e Silvia Folchi












Galleria fotografica Siena

Il Palio di Siena | Galleria fotografica

  Rosanna Bonelli, Rompicollo

Rosanna Bonelli, Rompicollo with the L'Aquila jacket


Il Carroccio nel Campo   Palio - Carrocio   Il Palio dell'Assunta 2006

Il carroccio trainato dai buoi che trasporta il palio e i giudici si ferma ad ogni angolo della piazza


  Il Carroccio di Siena durante il Palio 2006   Il Palio dell'Assunta (16/08/2006)
Palio di Siena 1953 a   Siena Palio-Fahnen 20030815-360.jpg   Il Palio di Siena luglio 2008 4

Palio 1953


  Bandierine delle contrade del Palio   ll Palio di Siena luglio 2008
Palio Assunta 08 102   Palio Assunta 08 136   Palio Assunta 2008,  Il fantino Giovanni Atzeni

Salasso il 16 agosto 2008 nella Nobile Contrada del Nicchio [2]



 Il fantino Jonatan Bartoletti [2008]


  Palio Assunta 2008, Il fantino Giovanni Atzeni

Traveling in Tuscany | The Palio di Siena 

Videos of recent editions | Video Palio di Siena

[1] History tells that only once before a woman jockey had raced in the Palio, the fifteen year-old Virginia Tacci who rode the 1581 Palio ''alla lunga'' wearing the colours of Drago, but the Palio ''alla lunga'' included a linear track that started outside the city walls to finish at the Duomo.

Holiday accomodation in Tuscany

Case vacanza in Toscana | Podere Santa Pia

La Ragazza del Palio (1957) - Il trailer


La Ragazza del Palio (1957) Regia: Luigi Zampa