The tradition

Held in honour of the Virgin Mary, the Palio is the most important event in Siena, and takes place on July 2 and August 16 every year.

The race is not a touristic invention, like some of Italy’s supposedly ‘Medieval’ fairs and pageants, but has actually been held almost uninterruptedly in Siena’s civic hub, Piazza del Campo, since 1644 at least.

Palio is life

The Palio is much more than a simple horse race for the Sienese: it is actually a large part of their lives since their birth. Each person belongs to a Contrada, and participates throughout the entire year in the life of the Contrada and the organization of the Palio.

The Sienese live the Palio with great passion, a passion that you’ll certainly be able to live.

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