The Sienese have been counting the days for months. The preparations have been going on for a year now, the ten contrade have already been selected for the game and the campo is almost ready. The countdown is nearly over for the most exciting event of the summer in Siena: the August Palio is here.
The Palio brings together ten jockeys from the 17 districts (or contrade) that form Siena, that feud each other in a vertiginous horse race celebrated in the main square of the city: Piazza del Campo. Siena stops its activity a week prior to the main races, which take place on July 2 and August 16, and masses, alliances, and mock races happen in preparation. Fierce rivalries exist between the neighboring districts and all Sienese are united year round by their passion to win the competition. After all, it is considered a high honor to win a Palio, a tradition that has been going on in Siena for more than 800 years.
Although its fame comes from the medieval clothing, the bareback riding and the electric atmosphere, there is much more to the Palio than one may think. The Sienese have a saying: “Palio è vita” (“Palio is life”) and they take it very seriously. If you have a hard time imagining what we are talking about, take a look at this trailer and prepare to be amazed:
If you’re staying with us at Il Salviatino, your favorite hotel in Florence, you won’t want to miss this year’s Palio. Palio is life and it’s an exciting one!
More information: www.thepalio.com