Italian tradition: The Palio di Siena, a century-old competition of contrade

Contrade parade through the streets of Siena
Contrade parade through the streets of Siena
Tuscan people are usually amiable and friendly, but they can also be very competitive and mocking, especially when it comes to horse racing.

In several small Italian towns, from northern to southern regions, the typical horse races known as Palio are held mainly during the summer season. Among them, the most famous is the one that takes place in Siena, Tuscany, every year on July 2 and August 6. According to the tradition, it is run in honor of the Madonna of Provenzano and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, during celebrations lasting four days.

This spectacular show, whose origin dates back to the Middle Ages, involves 10 out of the 17contrade (city quarters). Those that didn’t participate in the previous year are automatically included, and 3 more are chosen by draw.

Read full article published by L’Italo Americano on July 2, 2014 by Silvia Simonetti: http://www.italoamericano.com/story/2014-7-2/Palio

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