palio, siena. piazza del campo

The Palio in Siena

2 July 2018

The Palio horse race is not a tourist event: it is the life and soul of the people of Siena through history and in its various aspects and sentiments. It has distant origins and some rules in force today date back to 1644, the year the first horse Palio was run, as it has since, without interruption, in the Campo.

Siena is divided into 17 Contrade or districts. The borders of each was established in 1729 by order of Duchess Violante of Bavaria, Grand Princess of Tuscany and ruler of the city.

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“The Palio is the Palio. No sociological, historical or anthropological interpretation could explain it. Sublimation and damnation together with the fact of each and every citizen of Siena and their citizenship.
The burning passion of the Sienese is the incomparable confirmation of itself.” (Mario Luzi, 1998)
The Palio takes place on 12 July and 16 August.

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