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About Tuscany: Siena

The Palio of Siena

Twice a year (July 2nd and August 16th) visitors to Siena can enjoy the unique pageantry of the Palio that takes place in the beautiful Piazza del Campo; don’t miss it. After the colourful procession where representatives of the 17 presently surviving contrade (there were many more in the past) parade in fantastic costumes and display their colours, a horse-race (a rather risky one at that, with jockeys riding bareback) takes place within the ringed turf.

The competition involves only ten contrade at one time: the winner receives the palio (or banner) especially prepared by some leading contemporary artist and always involving an image of the Virgin Mary.

Partying goes on all night in the streets of the contrada that has won the Palio as well as in those of its allies.







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