The Palio of Siena

The “ Palio”, horse race event in Siena is one of the most famous popular Italian manifestations which takes place every year on the 2nd of July and the 16th of August in the magnificent square of Siena, Piazza del Campo. Originally run to celebrate the apparition of the Virgin Mary, the event is breathtaking folk festivals, where ten horses and riders which are representing ten of the seventeen Contrade, or city wards, race on the square.


The parade before the race is telling about the historical culture and attributes of each contrade in Siena and displays different governments, emblems, coats of arms and territories. It is a very interesting event in which is bringing back to the history of Siena.
The race itself lasts only minutes but the preparations for the race, the parade, the music takes almost one year. Three days before the race, celebrations will embrace the entire city with banquets, parades, ceremonies and trial races leading by an enthusiastic cacophony of bells trumpets and drums. The horse-racing event attracts visitors and spectators from around the world and is unique in Italy. More than a traditional event, it results an important part of the inhabitants of Siena.

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