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2008-07-01

Palio di Siena

On the 2nd of July there is one of the World’s most famous horse races: the Palio di Siena.
It's a wonderfully visual (and often brutal) horserace around the famous Piazza del Campo in the center of Siena.
It is participated by all of the 17 neighborhoods (the "contrade") that make up the city of Siena over the course of 2 different races, one which is held July 2nd (Feast day of the Visitation) and the other on August 15th (Feast day of the Assumption or Palio dell'Assunta).

There are numerous festivities all over Siena leading up to the Palio. 4 days prior to the race, the Piazza del Campo is transformed into the track.
The evening prior to the races is where the real fun begins, where long tables are set up along the streets for huge meals in celebration of the hopeful victory that will follow the next day. The day of the race, a spectacular parade is held where each neighborhood enters the piazza accompanied with trumpets and flag tossers, everyone dressed in traditional medieval garments.

When the time comes for the 90 second, three lap race around the piazza, the crowd goes wild cheering on their neighborhood with pride. The winning neighborhood is presented with a hand-made banner of silk followed by a tremendous celebration for their victory.

How to go from Florence to Siena
By bus: the SITA line from the Central Station Square (1 hour and 15 minutes with the "rapida" course).
By train: on the Firenze-Empoli-Siena (very slow!)
By car: highway Firenze-Siena (south of Florence), one hour drive.

3 comments:

Nelli said...

A visitor has come here searching this keyword: who won the palio in sienna on july 2nd, 2008?

well, I can answer to this person: the "istrice" has won the Palio.

it's a typical tuscan animal named "porcupin". You can find it in the woods :)

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me where "bruco" (caterpillar) finished on July 2, 2008?? Ciao. . .LaLuna

Nelli said...

I will ask and tell you as soon as possible

:)

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