The Palio is a historical event organized by the City of Siena. That run in Piazza del Campo in the days of July 2nd and August 16 of each year
Ten out of 17 Contrade run the Palio of July 2, the seven who did not during the Palio of July last year to which were added three drawn from the ten that ran. The 10 Contradas participating in the Palio race with a horse that is allocated to them for drawing lots from a rose selected horses among those physically fit.
The assignment of the horses takes place three days before the Palio (the morning of 29 June and 13 August for the two poles, respectively)
Before the Palio take place 6 test runs (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) during which several riders chosen by contrade take familiar 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 for free inside the Piazza.
Before the Palio race is 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, properly arranged and equipped for the purpose, mounting sleeping (bareback) the horse