Siena Horse Race comes back on 16th August 2012

Are you ready?

One of the most awaited events, the Palio di Siena (Siena Horce Race), every year taking place on 2nd July and 16th August, is coming back with its second appointment.

Once again, on 16th August, the shell-shaped square Piazza del Campo, famous all over the world for its particular aspect, will host the crowd of fans and a great show.

The districts (“Contrade”) running in the next race are:

  • Civetta (Owl)
  • Drago (Dragon)
  • Onda (Wave)
  • Selva (Wood)
  • Tartuca
  • Valdimontone.

This year, the Oca (Goose) district had been scheduled but it will atone for its disqualification from the race.

Also the Leocorno, the Istrice (Hedgehog), the Pantera (Panther) and the Giraffa (Giraffe) districts will take part in the race, being elected during the first appointment of the Palio on 2nd July.

The Palio of Siena is a tradition lasted for centuries, exactly since 1644 and still today steals the city inhabitants’ hearts.

You should know that the area of Siena is divided into seventeen districts and one is like a small state ruled by a Seat headed by a Prior.

In addition, each of such districts has a church with a place where all its possessions are kept intact, such as relics, costumes, flags…

Monday 13th August will be the beginning of four days dedicated to initiatives and events for the Palio. As tradition says, the burst of the firecracker will ratify the going out of the horses from the Entrone.

All riders will receive a whip used to incite the horses during the race.

The horses will have to complete three laps around the picturesque square (about 1 km). The winning Contrada will be the one whose horse, with or without jockey, will get before to the arrival and win the famous Drappellone of Palio, which every year is designed by a special artist.

We remind you also that it is advisable to arrive at Piazza del Campo about half an hour before the Historical Parade. At Piazza del Campo it is possible to watch the race for free.

So, have fun in Siena and enjoy the Palio!

For more information about Siena, traditions and other important events in Siena, please have a look at the online travel guide About Siena.

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