The Palio is a complex event organized by the City of Siena. Ten out of 17 Contrade run the Palio of August 16, the seven who did not during the Palio of July last year to which were added three drawn from the ten who ran it. The draw takes place on the first Sunday after the July Palio. The 10 Districts participating in the Palio race with a horse allocated to them by drawing lots from a list of selected horses among those physically fit.
Suitability tests and the assignment of the horses take place three days before the Palio: the morning of 13 August before the Palio take place 6 test runs (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) during which the jockey (chosen by the Contrada) get comfortable with the horse. You can watch the test runs and the Palio accessing paid to the stands (stages) arranged around the square or on the windows and balconies that overlook it, or free from the inside of the square. BUY YOUR TICKET!
The Palio race is preceded by a procession (Historic Walks) which talks by more than 600 people representing 17 Districts and institutions of the ancient Republic of Siena. The procession starts from the Cathedral Square in the early hours of the afternoon, and winds through some streets of the city center before parading in the Piazza del Campo. The race itself consists of running three times around the Piazza del Campo, suitably located and equipped for the purpose, by mounting sleeping (bareback) the horse.
12:00 allocation of horses to the contrade
19:15 The First Test
9:00 Second Round
17:00 Procession of the Votive Candle
19:15 Third Test
9:00 Fourth Test
19:15 Proof General
Dinner of the General Test
7:30 Mass of the Fantino in the Chapel of Piazza del Campo
9:00 Last Prova, known as "Provaccia"
in the early afternoon, around 14:00, in the churches of every contrada which participates in the Palio is held the blessing of the horses and jockeys
16:00 begins the closure of Piazza del Campo
the only access to the Piazza is Via Dupre until 18:00, when Piazza del Campo is finally closed
17:00 historical procession
After the victory: Te Deum of thanksgiving in the Cathedral of Siena