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Palio di Siena (Il Palio) 2020 Details and Information

Get all the details about Palio di Siena (Il Palio) 2020 on The Cheap Route, including Palio di Siena (Il Palio) location, when Palio di Siena (Il Palio) starts and finishes, and how long it lasts for. Events like Palio di Siena (Il Palio) tend to change trips, get all the details beforehand so you can either attend the Palio di Siena (Il Palio) celebration, or avoid the Palio di Siena (Il Palio) crowds.

Palio di Siena (Il Palio) Facts

Where Is Palio di Siena (Il Palio)?

Siena, Italy

When Is Palio di Siena (Il Palio)?

July 2 and August 16

What Is Palio di Siena (Il Palio)?

Il Palio, or more popularly known as Palio di Siena, is an attraction held twice a year in Siena, Italy that features a horse race. The Palio held on July 2 is known as Palio de Provenzano, to honor the Madonna of Provenzano. The other Palio is the Palio dell' Assunta. It is celebrated on August 16 to honor the Assumption of Mary.
The foundation of the Il Palio are the Contrade, which can be likened to a city ward or an administrative district. The contrade's function was to aid the military companies hired to defend Siena's independence, however, over the centuries, it lost its administrative function and it became involved with the residents personal and religious events like baptism, marriages, church holidays, and even food festivals.
The horse race involves ten horseriders who are bareback but dressed in appropriate colors representing ten Contrades. Before the race, there is the Corteo Storico, a magnificent pageant which is one of the main attractions of the event. Tourists and spectators look forward to this event.
During the race, the jockeys circles the Piazza del Campo three times. As an added challenge, dirt is laid on the piazza so that jockeys sometimes accidentally fall from their horses.
It is said that the race starded during the medieval era. During that time, the central piazza was the venue for the public games including the pugna, which is similar to a boxing match; jousting; and the bullfights. The Contrade also organized public races called palii alla lunga, where the participants run across the city.
Those attending the Palio will surely feel the excitement of the night prior to the race. The streest are decorated with hundreds of torches and lanterns, with each contrade laying out rows of tables while local restaurants serving huge bowls of pasta, meat and vegetables. On the night before the race, the Sienese will eat in the streets and treat their guests like they are native contradas.
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