THE PALIO is a horse race that takes place twice a year in the main square of SIENA,”Piazza del Campo”: on July 2 and on August 16.
SIENA is divided in 17 districts called “contrade”,but only ten of them can participate at the race, the ten that didn’t participate the year before, and the others three chosen by drawing of lots.
Before the race there is a big parade which attracts visitors from all over the world.
The jockey must do three laps of the square covered with a special soil called “tufo”and win THE PALIO,called by senese “drappellone”, a piece of silk hand painted.
Already in the Middle Ages senese used to play games in the center of the square.
The first races were on buffalo back and the first modern PALIO took place in 1656.