In Italy the 15th August is synonymous with holidays and the seaside, but the origins of the Ferragosto holiday date back to ancient times. The term Ferragosto comes from the Latin Feriae Augusti, or August rest, and it used to be the time of year when people celebrated the end of the main farming work. Of course the 15th August is also an important date in the Christian calendar, being the date of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
Held since medieval times, Livorno's Palio dell'Antenna sees four rowing boats battling it out on a 600m stretch of water. Contestants then climb a 10m-high pole rising from the sea to grab an amaranth drape.
To qualify for the Palio dell'Antenna, the vessels, which represent Livorno's quarters, compete against each other in a pre-palio race called Palio della Terrazza Ma scagni. The first four boats must then row clockwise within a designated area of the sea before heading for the pole.
The Premio Rotonda was founded in 1957 by Livornese artists Mario Borgiotti, Nedo Luschi, and Renzo Casali to promote art and sculpture. Every year more than 150 artists and sculptors take part in the competition which is held in the Ardenza district, in the pinewood at the Rotonda (by the sea).