Siena, Italy

Palio

Something Unique

It’s usually known as a horse race which takes place in the magnificent scenery of Piazza del Campo twice a year, on the 2nd of July and on the 16th of August, but it’s a lot more than just a horse race or a town festival or a religious celebration.

The soul of the city is reflected in it in all respects. Indeed, it’s impossible to think of Siena without reference to the Palio and it’s impossible to conceive the Palio outside of Siena’s context. Siena’s identity, its historic urban structure, its artistic and cultural heritage, all is linked to this one.

It is the sum of a large number of races and events held in Siena and Italy from the Middle Ages. Indeed, in the thirteenth century were rituals races with a “Palio”, literally a long painted banner, as prize in many cities of Italy (and the Palio was one of this), but all the other horse races that ran in many parts of Italy over time are all extinct.

Siena is very linked to its “contrade”, districts which compete in this horse race and parade for the historic procession (Passeggiata Storica). Contrade have also a great historic, artistic and cultural heritage and are one of the most important secrets of the beauty and the safety of this unique city.

With our staff you’ll have the chance to breathe the particular atmosphere that envelops Siena 365 days a year and to kindly approach the feelings inside this unique world!

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