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The Palio

Palio di Siena, a horse race 

A legendary event that turns the entire city of Siena, a medieval jewel in the heart of Tuscany, into an incredible place to enjoy unforgettable emotions. It has been going on since the Middle Ages, and while it might seem like chaos, there is an order to it! 

The happening 

The event begins with a procession through the town to one of the local churches. Pictures of saints are paraded through the streets along with the flag-bearers. The greatest athletes of Il Palio are from the Sienese city districts, commonly called “Contrade”. They have their own flags, traditional dresses and horses, and they are part of the very identity of each Sienese person. Running on the first two Sundays of July and August, the Palio pits historic districts of Siena against each other in a nail-biting race around Il Campo. Not just any horses can take part: they are Florentine horses representing one of the ten contrade. Some horses are brave and fast, whereas others are strong, but whichever horse wins becomes an icon to its ancient district. The prestige belonging to the winner is so high that palio contrades are willing to spend a lot of money to make sure that the best jockey will ride the horse representing their district. Nobody can predict what will happen and that’s what makes this so special; the total absence of logic and the complete lack of reason.

You won't forget this show!

The Palio is a dynamic, fast, exciting and moving event. An immersive spectator sport that involves much celebration and partying, a trip to see the Palio is a truly incredible experience. A true celebration of friendship, competition, and tradition.