THE PALIO HORSERACE AND THE CONTRADE

Palio di Siena

Siena is divided into 17 Contrade or Wards. Their names are caterpillar, owl, goose, turtle, etc.

They are cities within the city, each one with its own church, museum, fountain, colors and coat of arms. Twice a year they fight each other around the main square. It is the Palio horserace. July the 2nd and August the 16th . Professional jockeys ride bareback.  The winner is the Contrada and the prize is a banner or palio, with the image of the Madonna painted on it.