During the Renaissance, Italian cities were partitioned into districts or neighborhoods called Contrade to supply troops to the military. Today, the most celebrated Contrade are of Siena, where 17 Contrade, each represented by a symbol or animal, compete in the Piazza del Campo for pride and the glory of winning in a biannual horse race called the Palio di Siena, which dates back to 1656.
In 1986, Walter Staccioli began producing Italian ceramic pieces incorporating the Contrade patterns of Siena. Today, based upon each Contrada’s individual flag that festoons rider and horse in events surrounding the Palio di Siena, Sonia Staccioli and her sister Jada carry on the traditions. These works of art can only be found exclusively at Biordi and the Staccioli workshop at the Piazza del Campo in Siena.