Palio di Siena – July – Siena
On July 2nd. A horse eventful race between the ancient districts of the town
The Palio di Siena (Siena Palio) is taking place on July 2nd. The Palio is a horserace, a complex and ancient historical reenactment organized by the Municipality of Siena.
The city is divided into 17 “Contrade” (districts), established in 1729 by the governor Violante di Baviera.
Only 10 districts out of 17 run the race in July: 7 of them who didn’t run in the previous Palio and 3 of them are drawn among those that participated in the race The drawing takes place on the last Sunday of May.
The same thing happens in August Palio, indeed the drawing occurs on the first Sunday after the Palio in July.
Before the race of Palio di Siena, 600 characters in customs representing the 17 districts and the old Republic of Siena there is the parade in the so-called Historic Promenade (Passeggiata Storica). The parade starts from Piazza del Duomo in the early afternoon and walks through the town centre and then gets to Piazza del Campo.
Piazza del Campo (the main square) is properly equipped and set for the race, which consists in riding 3 laps bareback (no saddle).
It is free to watch the Palio di Siena (and the trials) from the middle of the Piazza, before the access roads are closed.
If you prefer to watch the Palio from the bleacher seats, the balconies or the windows over-looking the Piazza, there is a ticket to pay.
As there is no one general ticket office for the ticket sales, you need to contact the person who manages the stages or the owners of the apartments that face the main square.
The Palio di Siena takes place also in August >>>