Il palio di SienaThe Palio of Siena is one of the world’s most famous medieval jousts. Every year, for decades, a large number of visitors come to Siena to attend as spectators in this celebration of the Sienese. Prior to being a tourist attraction, in fact, the Palio embodies the true soul of the city: the districts contend that the “rag” in Piazza del Campo twice a year are the depositories of centuries-old traditions of Siena, are the social, economic and cultural for hundreds of years.
The “career” as it is traditionally called the race is usually held twice a year: July 2 there is the Palio di Provenzano (in honor of the Madonna of Provenzano) and on 16 August, the Palio of the Assumption (in honor Our Lady of the Assumption). The festival itself takes about four days and the atmosphere of the town these days is magical, fibrillating, full of energy and vitality.
In the first of four days of the festival is held is, the draw and subsequent combination of the barb to the districts in the race. Ring of stone around the Piazza del Campo, covered with a layer of soil composed of a mixture of tuff, clay and sand, are raced in all six tests, during which the riders have the opportunity to learn more about the behavior of the horse that will mount and do get used to the Square, its sounds and rhythms of their race. Although the tests are followed by many tourists and Contrada, who is in Piazza antlers mounted on the outside of the track.
Among the events that mark the approach of the race you are the rehearsal dinner, the so-called “Mass of jockey” and the blessing of the horse and jockey.