56th Donkey Race in Torrita di Siena, Tuscany

As usual, once again the Palio dei Somari (the famous, traditional donkey race) will be held in Torrita di Siena in March.

Celebrations in honor of St. Joseph and the Palio already began on last Saturday, when the order in which Contradas will parade was established with a raffle and the Palio will take place on 24th March (in case of bad weather, the race will be held on 1st April).

Since 1966, the Associazione Sagra di San Giuseppe uses to organize the Palio dei Somari in Torrita di Siena, a folkloristic event celebrated in honor of the Saint patron of carpenters, a very widespread job in this village. The donkey race’s goal is to highlight the effort and simplicity of the workers, and which animal could be better for representing at best such a concept?! Donkeys!

The 8 contradas of Torrita di Siena are: Porta a Pago, Porta a Sole, Porta Gavina, Porta Nova, Le Fonti, Stazione, Refenero and Cavone, and the winner will receive as an award the colored standard. Each contrada has its own specific color, coat of arms and members. The old streets of this little town will come back to 15th century with lots of dames, princes, standard bearers,flag throwers and drummers wearing period clothes.

In this period of celebrations, visitors will also find in Torrita di Siena many other side events, such as exhibitions, conferences, theatre performances, the opening of many taverns in the old city center and the traditional Propitiatory Dinners of each contrada.

On the day before the race, the event will see as protagonists the competition among couples of flag throwers and drummers of the 8 contradas. On the day of the race, there will also be the Historical Parade preceded by the Banda del Palio and flag throwers of the ancient Castles of Guardavalle, Ciliano, Montefollonico and La Fratta. All the participants will parade in the streets of Torrita for reaching the track of the Gioco del Pallone, a place that is a real symbol of the celebration.

The lovely town of Torrita di Siena waits for you for celebrating 56th Palio die Somari from 16th to 24th March 2013. For any further information, please visit the official website of the event.

Would you like to know more about the most important events in Siena and its surrounding area? Then take a look at our travel guide to Siena, About Siena, where you can also book your hotel in Siena!

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