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Palio di Siena

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Famous the world over, the Palio di Siena is a horse race held biyearly during the summer months of July and August. Ten horses and riders wearing the colors of their “contrada” (district of Siena) race around the Piazza del Campo three times at breakneck speeds; the winner is the first horse to cross the finish line, with or without its rider.

Things to see

Not be mistaken as a simple race, the Palio di Siena is an ancient tradition dating back from the medieval period. To this day, the various contrade passionately compete against one another to win the honor of receiving the “palio” (a painted silk banner). Each race is preceded by an elaborate pageant called the Corteo Storico, where various figures dressed in medieval costumes parade and give mounted demonstrations.