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Palio Siena: What it is, when it happens and timetable.

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The Palio di Siena (known locally simply as Il Palio) is a horse race that is held twice each year, on July 2 and August 16, in Siena, Italy. 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, who has a church in Siena. The Palio held on August 16 is named Palio dell’Assunta, in honour of the Assumption of Mary.

A magnificent pageant, the Corteo Storico, precedes the race, which attracts visitors and spectators from around the world.

The race itself, in which the jockeys ride bareback, circles the Piazza del Campo, on which a thick layer of dirt has been laid, three times and usually lasts no more than 90 seconds. It is not uncommon for a few of the jockeys to be thrown off their horses while making the treacherous turns in the piazza, and indeed, it is not unusual to see unmounted horses finishing the race without their jockeys.

Timetable on July:

June 29th:

h. 1.00 p.m.: “tratta” (selection by lot of the horses)

h. 7.45 p.m.: first trial

June 30th:

h. 09.00 a.m.: second trial

h. 7.4 p.m.: third trial

July 1st:

h. 09.00 a.m.: fourth trial

h. 7.45 p.m.: general trial (this can, at times, be preceded by a display from a squad of Carabinieri on horseback).

July 2nd:

h. 7.45 a.m.: the jockey’s Mass, celebrated by the Archbishop of Siena in the Chapel of the Piazza.

h. 9.00 a.m.: the 6th heat (“provaccia”).

h. 10.00 a.m.: the signing of the jockeys in the Palazzo.

h. 02.30 p.m.: the vesting of the comparsa in each of the seventeen Contrade.

h. 03.30 p.m.: the Blessing of the Horse (in the ten Contrade taking part in the race) and subsequent departure of the comparse to pay homage to certain important institutions of Siena and thence to the Palazzo del Governo in the Piazza del Duomo.

h. 04.30 p.m.: departure of the Corteo Storico from the Palazzo del Governo to the Via del Casato di Sotto for entry into the Piazza.

h. 05.20 p.m.: entry of the Corteo Storico into the Piazza del Campo (this can, at times, be preceded by a display from a squad of Carabinieri on horseback).

h. 07.30 p.m.: the horses exit from the Entrane for the race upon the firing of the mortaretto.

After the race, the winning contrada marches exultantly to the Basilica of Santa Maria in Provenzano and subsequently the festivities continue throughout the night in the neighborhood and through the streets of the main part of the city.

Timetable on August

13th:
h. 1.00 p.m.: “tratta” (selection by lot of the horses)

h. 7.15 p.m.: first trial

14th:
h. 9.00 a.m.: second trial

In the afternoon, before the trial race, The Procession of Candles takes place in which the Palio banner is brought to the Cathefral.

h. 7.15 p.m.: third trial

15th:
h. 9.00 a.m.: fourth trial

h. 7.15 p.m.: general trial (this can, at times, be preceded by a display from a squad of Carabinieri on horseback).

16th:
h. 7.45 a.m.: the jockey’s Mass, celebrated by the Archbishop of Siena in the Chapel of the Piazza.

h. 9.00 a.m. the 6th heat (“provaccia”).

h. 10.00 a.m.: the signing of the jockeys in the Palazzo.

h. 2.00 p.m.: the vesting of the comparsa in each of the seventeen Contrade.

h. 3.00 p.m.: the Blessing of the Horse (in the ten Contrade taking part in the race) and subsequent departure of the comparse to pay homage to certain important institutions of Siena and thence to the Palazzo del Governo in the Piazza del Duomo.

h. 3.50 p.m.: departure of the Corteo Storico from the Palazzo del Governo to the Via del Casato di Sotto for entry into the Piazza.

h. 4.50 p.m.: entry of the Corteo Storico into the Piazza del Campo (this can, at times, be preceded by a display from a squad of Carabinieri on horseback).

h. 7.00 p.m.: the horses exit from the Entrane for the race upon the firing of the mortaretto.

After the race, the winning contrada marches exultantly to the Cathedral and subsequently the festivities continue throughout the night in the neighborhood and through the streets of the main part of the city.

posted by www.hotelsienaborgogrondaie.com

 

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