The Palio di Siena (known locally simply as Il Palio) is a horse race that is held in Siena, Tuscany twice each year, on July 2 and August 16. If you are looking for news on the 2018 edition, check this event page and save it to your favourites.
This is not a mere touristic event, but a significant part in the life of the city today as it did centuries ago. Visitors to the city can assist for free from the center of Piazza del Campo (no chairs, the first who arrive get the best places) or pay a ticket to get a more comfortable position from the balconies of the buildings overlooking the show.
Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards.
The Palio held on July 2 is named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, a Marian devotion particular to Siena which developed around an icon from the Terzo Camollia.
Other Palios are sometimes held in May and September, as extraordinary events approved by the Municipality.
Apart from the big race, which takes place on July 2, other side events are celebrated in Siena during the entire week, like historical parades and the winner’s flag exhibition on the City’s Town Hall.
Tourist Information – Siena
Santa Maria della Scala
Piazza Duomo 1 – 53100 Siena
Tel. +39 0577 280551 – Fax +39 0577 270676
1 April – 31 October
1 November – 31 March
working days: 10am-5pm
Sunday and public holidays: 10am-1pm
26 December: 9:30am-5:30pm
closing days: 25 December and 1 January
Watch the official video to learn more about the Palio tradition