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Palio di Siena Best Traditional Horse Race Festival in Tuscany

Updated: Sep 19, 2021

Horse  Race in middle of the city

When it is the question of a traditional festival than "The Palio of Siena" in Italy is a must see attraction which is held twice a year in July and August. The Open-Air Races are held every year at the same dates, the 2nd of July and the 16th of August. Every year more and more vistors are coming to this festival days before to explore the marvelous landscape of Tuscany, italian tradition and culture and cuisine. "Il Palio" as called by the italians is a life time attraction and an event for unforgettable memories for one time visitors. The colorful dresses and flags is transforming the city in to a medieval age town where you will feel your self as a honored guest.

The Palio, is a horse race where ten horses and riders are compiting to each other in a traditional way. The city Siena is divided into seventeen districts and each of them has its one horse and rider. The districts compete against each other one month before to be the finalist for the main races. The horses and riders are dressed in the uniforms respresting the coat of arms and the distinct colors of the district.

The race is held at the center of the city which is at the "Piazza del Campo". The Palio held on 2nd of July is named "Palio di Provenzano", in honor of the "Madonna of Provenzano", it is a particular Marian devotion of Siena which developed around an icon from the Terzo Camollia.

The festival celebrations are starting three days before the final race day (Palio). During the celebrations the city is covered with colorful flags which are representing the districts. Banquets, parades in traditional ways, blessing of the horses and many other events are held within the celebration days. Before the final race, there are four trial races where horses are assigned to the districts and preparations begins to be prepared for the final day.

The race is open to public and no fees are charged. Those ones who want to see the races from a better position like the balconies surrounding the Piazza del Campo, can rent or pay a ticket to the owners of the particular houses and apartments.

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