The Palio of Siena

In Siena, one of the most important cities in Tuscany for its history, there is a very curious event: the so-called “Palio di Siena”.

It is a competition that takes place with a horse race where they compete among themselves 17 “Contrade” of Siena, that are small neighborhoods. It has medieval origins and usually there are 2 dates in the year in which it takes place, except for extreme exceptions: July 2 in honor of the Madonna di Provenzano and August 16 in honor of the Madonna Assunta.

This event was born as a situation to be able to claim membership in their own district and then bravely challenge all the others to victory, all with a horse race.

This event is called “Palio” because it means “Drape” and originally it was given as a prize a drape of precious fabric, and still today the prize is a drape that is painted each time by a different painter chosen by the municipality of Siena. 

The race ends with the victory of one of the horses after 3 complete laps and everything happens in the most known square of the city: Piazza del Campo. 

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