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Palio of Siena

The most famous Palio in the world

The Palio is much more than just an equestrian competition. Is a tradition for nearly 500 years and Siena soul life of Sienese people in all its facets. Its origins date back to the first palio in 1644 and for the next 5 centuries did not undergo interruptions except during the two world wars.

Siena is alive and trembles all year for this ancient tradition that has culminated in the two careers of 2 July and 16 August. Mornings of 29 June and 13 August begin at four days preparing the Palio. In the first there is the "tratta", i.e. the drawing of lots and the assignment of the horses to the districts, and continued with six races of the Palio, once in the morning and once in the evening until the day of his career.

Le Contrade of Siena are seventeen, Aquila, Bruco, Chiocciola, Civetta, Drago, Giraffa, Istrice, Leocorno, Lupa, Nicchio, Oca, Onda, Pantera, Selva, Tartuca, Torre, Valdimontone. For each career participating in only ten, seven are the districts that do not have raced in the previous year and three are raffled.

The career is preceded by the stately parade with a total of almost 700 participants parading through the Square ring. The central point of the parade came with the passage of the Northern League, a Chianina calf-drawn cart carrying il Drappellone (the Palio Prize and painted silk). The Palio di Siena begins with the outbreak of the "firecracker" which announces the release of the horses of theEntrone of the Town Hall in the Piazza del Campo.

All 17 jockeys with their horses proceed to the "mossa", where the figure of the "Mossiere" will extract and declaim loudly the order of placement on the canape (the long rope that outlines the area of the move). Are moments of absolute silence around the city, until the moment when the tenth district located in position to run, will start, giving way to the career. The victory is awarded to the first horse, which after three rounds of the square can also come "rocked" meaning without a Jockey on arrival. The festivities commence immediately, when Piazza del Campo whole people font heads for the Siena Cathedral to sing the hymn of Thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary.

The Palio is a unique opportunity to get to the heart and in the heat of a unique tradition. You can attend the Palio for free by entering the city's main square, Piazza del Campo.

albero detail
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