The Origins

The Society that the Dragaioli wanted to form in the second half of the 19th Century was one of the first contrada societies formed in that period and from the beginning it assumed the name “Camporegio”, a name which it has kept to this day.

Setting up the Camporegio Society was a rapid affair, the commission was set up at the Assemby of 31st August 1879 and just two weeks later, on 14th September, proposed “the statute of the new Camporegio Society” at an extraordinary Assembly. The statute coming into place three weeks later on the 1st October 1879.

The statute, made up of 35 articles, sanctioned that the emblem of the Society would be a dragon in a quartered shield of red and yellow, bearing the inscription “Società di Campregio per i Spettacoli Pubblici”, and specified that the Society would be made up of all those belonging to the Contrada del Drago including those born in the territory of the Contrada, residents, intellectuals, and protectors. The statute also outlined the methods of admission and assignment of roles, and established that the main role of the Society was in organising public holidays.

Important pages in not only the history of Contrada del Drago but of all the Contradas would be written in Camporegio in the following years. For example, on the 31st of May 1887 the Committee of the Contrada Priors was established, the first concrete example of the will to bring together all 17 Priors in a single body capable of linking, coordinating, and protecting the Contradas; an objective that was realised 7 years later, again in Camporegio, when on the 25th November 1894 the Assembly of the 17 Priors (convened by the Prior of the Contrada del Drago, Patrizio Chiusarelli) formed the Magistrate of the Contradas with Patrizio Chiusarelli as the provisional President of the association.

Then on the 29th September 1892, the Camporegio Society formally aligned itself with the principles of mutual aid, assuming the title of “Società M.S. di Camporegio”, and modifying the statute accordingly, with the objective of supporting members with a subsidy in the event of illness.

The statute remained unchanged for many years and many of the original articles of the statute are still active today and help give all Dragaioli the possibility to enjoy and benefit from a Society that creates an environment of mutual respect.

Difficult Times

A profound change in the characteristics and role of Camporegio, as indeed of all the other Contrada Societies, came about during the period of the fascist dictatorship. Fascism, committed to the consolidation of power and getting rid of opponents, only allowed the right for associations outside the fascist party to exist on the condition that they declare and pursue purposes considered to be in line with the doctrines of the fascist regime. Given therefore a political climate, characterised by rigorous controls and bans, a decision to dissolve the Camporegio Society was made on the 19th August 1929. The premises however remained active to organise celebrations and games, but elections and any more political activities were abolished.

From 35 articles, the Statute was reduced to 16, and the positions of the governing body were no longer elective. The members of the first council are Giulio Grisaldi Del Taja (Prior/President), Cesare Grassi (Vicar/Inspector), Faliero Franci Camarlengo ,and Angelo Vannini Chancellor. In this period the activities of the Camporegio Society were reduced to the point of ensuring the structural maintenance of the Society headquarters, so much so that on the 1st October 1932 a contract was stipulated to lease the premises at the Dopolavoro Postelegrafonici, life within the Society continued however. Immediately after the liberation of Siena (3rd July 1944) the Dragaioli felt the need to revive their Society. Having accepted the proposal, a mandate was given to Prior Rio Mattei to carry out the necessary actions to return possession of the premises in via del Paradiso, but on the very same day the president of the Postelegrafonici, Giacomo Duchi, presented an act of requisition of the premises by the "Town Major" (a sort of mayor established by the allied troops), for use as a warehouse for basic necessities for allied forces children.

On 1st September 1945, the premises were released, but the post office managers refused to give them back the keys, so much so that in the General Assembly of the Contrada held on the 18th July 1945 decided to proceed with legal approaches, entrusting the case to the lawyer Gian Carlo Manenti for repossession of the Society premises. After long and complex negotiations, an agreement to extend the lease to the post office until September 1947 was made.


The composition of the first Board of Directors of the newly resurrected Camporegio Society appointed on the 7th January 1948, was as follows:

  • President: Mario Calamati
  • Vice President: Muzio Massoni
  • Directors: Vico Consorti and Enrico Lorenzini
  • Secretary and Balance Officer: Lio Lonzi
  • Bursar: Otello Tognazzi
  • Cashier: Renato Cambi
  • Inspectors: Luigi Cappannoli and Fausto Santini

In January 1948 the Contrada regained the use of the main part of the buildings and on the 8th of March of that year, the president Mario Calamati inaugurated the premises of the new Camporegio Society.

The 1947 Statute remained almost intact until the 9th March 1973, when the Assembly of the Society decided to extend the duration of the Board of Director appointments from one to two years, to make it coincide with that of the elective offices of the Contrada, which had made the same change to its Chapters.

Another important change dates back to October 1985, when the composition of the Board of Directors was increased from 9 to 11 members with the addition of a second Vice President, the doubling of the Secretary – Balance Office, the number of Councillors was also increased from 2 to 4, whilst the Inspectorate office was closed. The numbers of Board of Director members were further increased from 11 to 16, on the 20th September 1993 with the addition of 5 Councillors.

Although the Statute has undergone changes over the years, the purpose of the Camporegio Society has remained constant and still provides a place that can provide financial support to contribute to the expenses, especially those for the Palio and importantly to provide members with a place to meet socially and outside the formality of Contrada functions.

Recent times: the New Society building and garden

This story starts on the 26th November 1980, when at a General Assembly of society members, the members approved the stipulation a loan agreement with the Siena Council for an area of land below the “Tito Sarrocchi” Institute, a green area that would become a new open-air home for the Society. In 1981 the work began in earnest thanks to the determination of many dedicated Dragaioli, who first relentlessly cleared the area that would later become the Voltoni gardens. Although the work needed seemed insurmountable, they never gave up and after toiling away for what seemed like a long time, the transformation was completed in May 1995 just in time for the first “Evenings in the Paradise of the Voltoni” festival, an annual festival which goes on to this day. The Voltoni were completed in 1997 when the Town Council granted the use of additional space close-by that also belonged to the Sarrocchi Institute.

Subsequently, the Contrada was called on to take a historical decision that is, whether or not, to transfer the secular Contrada headquarters from Via del Paradiso back to its original location at San Domenico near the Voltoni gardens. That is, back to the place that in the 1600s had housed the first headquarters of the Contrada del Drago, that were granted by the Compagnia Laicale di San Domenico. A return to our “origins” was about to take place, but only after long and a times heated discussions and Assemblies where contrasting opinions were shared. In the end the majority of society members approved the historic move.

The building project for the new home was officially born between the 18th of March and 13th October 1997 but was subject to a string of delays during the early 2000’s that pushed back the actual construction work to January 2006. The long and at times volatile story (typical of our Contrada, which is close to the hearts of all its members) ended on the 21st May 2011 with the inauguration of the new premises of the Camporegio Society in San Domenico, on the eve of our Annual Festival.

The new Society is in wonderful location and all the Dragaioli, representatives of the sister Contradas, and local authorities greatly admired the stupendous panorama of Siena the encompasses our new Society.

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