July 2, 2023 Palio of Provenzano: Who will Run? The following ten contrade will compete in the July, 2023 Palio, in the order in which they were extracted (drawn): Aquila (Eagle) - carried over from 2022 Giraffa (Giraffe) - carried over from 2022 Selva (Forest) - carried over from 2022 Onda (Wave) - carried over … Continue reading Palio Races of 2023: Who’s Running
Category: Palio and Contrade Basics
Palio Races of 2022: Who Ran and Won?
August 16, 2022 Palio of the Assumption Here's an overview of the ten contradas (contrade) that will compete in the August, 2022 Palio, in the order in which they were extracted (drawn). Please see Extraction of the Contrade post for more background on the process): Tartuca (Turtle) - carried over from 2019 Lupa (She-Wolf) - … Continue reading Palio Races of 2022: Who Ran and Won?
The Extraction of the Contrade: How Ten Competitors are Chosen for the Palio
Visitors who are fortunate enough to be in Siena during the days of the Palio (by sheer accident or otherwise) are often unaware of all the preparation well prior to the event. One of the more emotional rituals takes place about six weeks prior to each summer Palio. This is known as the extraction (estrazione) … Continue reading The Extraction of the Contrade: How Ten Competitors are Chosen for the Palio
Choosing the Final Ten Horses for the Palio: An Elaborate Process!
One might wonder how horses are chosen for the Palio. The reality is that most horses offered up by their hopeful owners only have a slim chance of making it to Palio day. While more than 100 horses are often placed in contention for possible Palio consideration, only ten are allowed to race. It is … Continue reading Choosing the Final Ten Horses for the Palio: An Elaborate Process!
The Morning Trial Experience: What to Expect
This post is inspired by a recent question on TripAdvisor about what to expect from a morning trial during the "days of the Palio". (Morning and evening trials are similar in their approach. For more on the evening trials, please see TOM'S TIPS within my Palio Schedule page.) The morning trials "officially" begin at 9:00 … Continue reading The Morning Trial Experience: What to Expect
What is the song sung by the Sienese during the days of the Palio?
Excerpt adapted in part from my book, Living the Palio. Intro: While you will hear numerous folk songs around Palio time, there is one that is by far the most common melody of them all, the Song of Verbena (Il Canto della Verbena). This is sung by groups of contradaioli (contrada members) during the evening … Continue reading What is the song sung by the Sienese during the days of the Palio?
The Assignment of the Horses
Nearing the conclusion of the assignment (drawing) of the horses on June 29, 2019 for the upcoming July 2 Palio. Complimentary "score sheet" that allows viewers to record the horses and their assigned numbers. After the final 10 horses to run in the Palio were selected prior to the drawing, one could compare their assigned … Continue reading The Assignment of the Horses
Why do the Sienese wear neck scarves?
Excerpt adapted in part from my book, Living the Palio. Panther contradaioli (contrada members) wearing their fazzoletti while walking to the Duomo on the day of the Palio The strongest direct symbol of personal contrada identity is the contrada scarf, or fazzoletto, which is typically worn around one’s neck. Today, as in the past, the … Continue reading Why do the Sienese wear neck scarves?
Daily Schedule of Palio Events
The daily events and rituals associated with the Palio are (usually) on a fixed schedule that is predictable from one Palio to the next. A useful overview of the four days of the Palio is found here: Palio Time Schedules. Here is my own version of the typical schedule (below), based on my personal experiences … Continue reading Daily Schedule of Palio Events
Winning the Palio: the Drappellone
Excerpt adapted from my book, Living the Palio. (It's already written, so I'm happy to share it here.) A few traditions are quite different from US sporting events. The only payout for a victorious contrada is a cloth banner known as the drappellone or palio. The word palio actually holds a dual meaning here—for the … Continue reading Winning the Palio: the Drappellone