The Polcevera Valley Palio of the Bronze Table
Between the end of August and the first day of September, since 1991 Pontedecimo holds the Palio of the Bronze Table.
The initiative celebrates the dispute between the Genuati and the Veturi Langensi for the right to the land of the high Polcevera Valley for agricoltural and pastoral purposes (117 b.C.) and the finding of the Bronze Table in 1506, which provides evidence of the episode.
For the occasion, many celebrations are held: fairs and markets, medieval archery, tug of war, horse races with spears or rings among the team of the Municipalities of the Polcevera Valley. The winner gets the reproduction of the Roman Table. Moreover, there is a parade through the Historic Centre of the village.
The Bronze Table of the Polcevera Valley is an important document which reveals interesting details about the history of the area during the second half of the 2nd century b.C. At that time Genoa was federated to Rome and governed the population of the Veturi Langensi, who lived in the lands of the Polcevera Valley.
Using the land the Genuati preferred to cultivate the forests, instead the Langensi preferred patoral productions. These difference generated many conflicts and it was difficult to define the borders of the area owned by the two populations.
The quarrel rose until it was necessary to go to the Supreme Court in Rome: in 117 b.C. the Roman Senate sent two magistrates in the Polcevera Valley, Quinto e Marco Minucio Rufo, with their technicians and the Genuati and Langensi representatives. The dispute was solved by defining new borders. The sentence of the magistrates was engraved on two bronze tables and was delievered to the two parties involved.
In 1506 one of the two table was discovered in the neighbourhoods of Serra Riccò by the farmer Agostino Pedemonte who, thinking he could earn some money by selling that metal, sold it to a boilermaker in Genoa. The Government of the Republic of Genoa came across the news thanks to a scholar, understood the historic value of the document and bought it.
Since then the Table was hosted in many places: at first it was displayed in the Cathedral, then it was moved in one of the rooms of the palace of the Fathers of the Municipality, then in Palazzo Ducale and, finally in Palazzo Tursi (until 1993), from there it was removed and brought to the Ligurian Archeology Musuem in Villa Pallavicini in Pegli.