The tradition taken from the middle ages and still having the world popularity – horse-racing in the famous italian town Siena: Palio in Siena (Il Palio).
Palio attracts the great amount of tourists with its medieval naturalness and excitement. And the local citizens are making preparations to this event during the whole year, it is the main town holiday for them, which creats the atmosphere of competition among the town’s districts but at the same time – unites all the citizens in the common holiday mood.
Horse-racing is held twice a year: 02/07 (10 districts participate in the competition) and 16/08 (the rest 7 districts). Each district has its joсkey, its horse and the decorating attributes. Each citizen of Siena worries with all his heart for his district’s winning. And only presence in the race can give you opportunity to see how much emotionally the town’s citizens cheer the jockeys.
The race takes place in the main square of Siena – square Campo with the length of 333 meters. Joсkeys should race 3 circles around the square, that is 1 kilometer. The horses easily overcome this kilometer for not more than 90 seconds. If a joсkey falls down while racing (that is probable because the horses are bareback), but the horse in any case arrives the first to the finish – this is considered as winning and after the race this horse will be especially adored and respected by the district’s citizens :)
And at last after 90 seconds of the race and winning of one of the districts, the mainest part of this holiday begins – celebrating of winning by the team-winner and just celebrating of Palio by all the rest citizens of Siena. All the citizens appear to be one big friendly company, organising the common dinners just in the squares and streets of the town, sitting all together at the long tables, eating the italian food and drinking the italian wines.
This part of the holiday goes all the night, giving the same incredible pleasure both to the friendly citizens and to the impressed tourists :)