Palio di Siena

Classification Festivities
Festivals and Performances Palio di Siena
Festivals and Performances
Il Palio di Siena
Zone Europe
Theme category
date & Time
Nation Italy
Address Piazza del Campo
Language 이탈리아어
Period 매년
Year Established 1656
Host 시에나 시
The origins of the Palio date back to the 12th century and the earliest mention of the ‘Palio di Siena’ is in a 13th century document from 1238, nearly 800 years ago.
Changes have been made over time; the Palio’s original route ran through the streets from the edge to the centre of Siena. Following the Grand Duke’s decision to outlaw bullfighting in 1590, the Sienese took the Palio to the Campo (the piazza where it is held today) in the heart of the city, using their bulls and buffalos to compete. They moved later to donkeys, then eventually to horses in the mid 1600s. The first officially documented modern Palio was over 350 years ago, in 1656.
The dates of the races are significant in the Catholic calendar and the Sienese community.  The original race was held each July 2nd, the day when the Madonna di Provenzano is celebrated in Tuscany and, in the early 1700′s, a second race was created as part of the Feast of Assumption festivities, but only run intermittently.
In 1729, the Duchess Violante di Bavaria ordered that the original 59 districts of the city be re-arranged into the current 17 districts and effectively settled the Palio into its’ modern form. These enforced boundary changes created some lasting rivalries between newly formed districts. In the same year, the number of participants per race was reduced to 10 due to accidents and a lottery system to pick the final 3 districts (in addition to the 7 who missed the previous race) was created.
Some 80 years later, after much public outcry, Siena’s council took responsibility for officially organising and financing a second Palio (August 16th) and from this point onwards it became a tradition to have two each year. Previously it had been the responsibility of the winning district in the July Palio to fund the August Palio, perhaps explaining why it happened so infrequently.
In addition to the July and August events, a third Palio has occasionally marked an exceptional occurrence, person or anniversary. For example there was a race to mark the end of the Second World War, the sixth centennial of St Catherine of Siena, the first lunar landing and the fifth centennial of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena (the Worlds oldest bank and a major supporter of the Palio).