2 Jul, 2019TIME
Florence, 30mins/1-hour driving from the city centre, Central ItalyCATEGORIES
The Palio in Siena – July 2019
More than a horse race, the Palio di Siena is a part of the local culture, handed down from generation to generation.
It must be said that the majority of people can’t think of Siena without having in mind its Palio. The Palio di Siena (known locally simply as Il Palio) is a horse race that is held in the heart of Siena, twice each year, on July 2 and August 16.
This is not a mere touristic event, but a significant part of the life of the city today as it did centuries ago. Visitors to the city can assist for free from the centre of Piazza del Campo (no chairs, the first who arrives gets a place) or pay a ticket to get a more comfortable position from the balconies of the buildings overlooking the show.
Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards.
Not only Palio
The Palio held on July 2 is named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, a Marian devotion particular to Siena which developed around an icon from the Terzo Camollia.
Other Palios are sometimes held in May and September, as extraordinary events approved by the Municipality.
Apart from the big race, which takes place on July 2, other side events are celebrated in Siena during the entire week, like historical parades and the winner’s flag exhibition on the City’s Town Hall.
The Palio in Siena
Tourist Information – Siena
Santa Maria della Scala
Piazza Duomo 1 – 53100 Siena
Tel. +39 0577 280551 – Fax +39 0577 270676
1 April – 31 October
daily: 9:30am / 6pm
1 November – 31 March
working days: 10am / 5pm
Sunday and public holidays: 10am / 1pm
26 December: 9:30am / 5:30pm
closing days: 25 December and 1 January
OPENING DAYS AND HOURS
Trial runs are held in the morning. The Palio starts at 4.45pm
Address: Piazza del Campo
City of Siena [roughly 80km from Florence]
www.comune.siena.it (in Italian only)