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What is Palio di Siena?
The Palio di Siena is one of the most anticipated summer events in Tuscany. Italy's most famous horse race is held twice during the summer in the beautiful town of Siena.
Ten horses and their bareback riders take part in the main race, each wearing the traditional colours of their 'contrade' or city district. The "Tratta" is held on the first day with hundreds of horses and jockeys coming to race against each other within the unique muddy clay race course set around the picturesque square, Piazza Del Campo, with thousands of spectators circling the square and watching on from the balconies.
Palio di Siena is a spectacle to add to your bucket list and the gorgeous setting guarantees you will have a truly amazing time with memories to last a lifetime.
Need to know
The Palio actually takes place over four days with the main race taking place on the fourth and final day.
Did you know?
There are 17 contrade, or districts: Caterpillar, Dragon, Eagle, Forest, Giraffe, Goose, Owl, Panther, Porcupine, Ram, She-Wolf, Seashell, Snail, Tortoise, Tower, Unicorn and Wave. Each contrada features its own emblem and colors.
We have included the website link in the left hand sidebar for you to find out all of the details to make your visit a very memorable experience.
This review was submitted by GoWhereWhen.com community member Rob, you can see more of Rob's travels on his excellent blog This Travel Life here.
"The Piazza del Campo in Siena slowly began to fill and by 4.30pm they had locked us in the centre of the track with still a couple of hours before the big race - the Palio de Siena. We had returned to the town just for this traditional horse race around the main square. While we waited with the hundreds of locals and tourists, watching the stunning medieval parade of flag wavers and drummers, we downed a few glasses of red. At 7 pm the horses took off, racing around the tight course along the outer edge of the piazza. A puff of smoke marked the end of the race. We didn't know who won, but we jumped and cheered with the crowd. We were right amongst it all and it was an amazing experience, one we will remember for a long time."
We would also like to thank GoWhereWhen.com community member Cialeun for his amazing shot taken at the Palio.
You can see much more of his fantastic Instagram account here.
Coronavirus is causing a number of event cancellations; we provide event website links on each page for you to check the latest updates.
See our Coronavirus page here.
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