During two weeks in August, there is a chill in relations between the members of the terzieri (the three sections of town, as in "quarters", but in this case, thirds!). This is serious business. A dramatic buildup to the archery competition -- il Palio -- takes place. A schedule of daily events is posted; bands of drummers and flag throwers dressed in the colors of their terziere perform. There are plays, re-enactments of Renaissance games and competitions, fire breathers (see below!), and the night of the boutiques, in which traditional crafts are demonstrated. This last takes place in our terziere, Il Castello; on that night, the only outside light is from torches. And during this whole period, half the town, it seems, is dressed in Renaissance garb and has taken on a Renaissance persona. Oh, and after the competition, when the losers are sore and there is much finger pointing at the winner for some manner of cheating, a flour fight breaks out in the piazza from which ghostly figures emerge and the street appears to have suffered a summer snowstorm. And then everyone goes to the bars to lick their wounds and talk about what might have been if Casalino hadn’t cheated…again. So wonderfully Italian!