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Palio di Siena

30 June 2022

Palio Siena 2022: dates and info | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

Palio di Siena

When is the Palio di Siena 2022? Here is all the useful information on dates, programme and other useful tips on where to eat and sleep.

Palio di Siena 2022: dates, programme and useful information

 

After a two-year wait, due to the limits imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the people of Siena and anyone else who loves this historic sporting event can finally rejoice: it's time for the Palio di Siena 2022. 

The first palio of the year, the one known as the Palio della Madonna di Provenzano, held on 2 July has not long finished and already our thoughts are on the August event, the Palio della Madonna Assunta.

 

Palio di Siena: August dates

This event, which attracts hundreds of tourists from all over Italy and the rest of the world, as well as involving all the inhabitants of Siena's quarters or Contrade, is being held in Piazza del Campo on 16 August 2022.

If you are wondering when the next Palio di Siena will be, then you should know that the date of the race is actually August 16th, but on the four days running up to the race itself, you can enjoy a series of events linked to the Palio, and these form the historic and cultural heart of the race. Therefore, the entire event lasts from August 13th - 16th 2022.

Ticket prices and times for the Palio di Siena​

There is no charge to watch the Palio di Siena; the event is free for those who want to experience the thrill of being up close to the horses as they race, or who want to savour the sparkling competitive spirit of the Sienese and enjoy the event like a proper local.

The important thing is to find a place before the access points are closed, generally about 4:00 pm, when the race track itself is cleared. Taking into account the times for the Palio di Siena and the fact that the horses set off after 7:00 pm, it is quite a long wait, but always well worth it. The important thing is to come prepared, which means a hat to shade you from the sun, and some bottles of water.

Alternatively, if you want to see the race from above, looking out from the balcony of one of the characteristic palazzos overlooking Piazza del Campo, or comfortably seated in one of the bars surrounding the piazza, then we recommend contacting the bar management or the owners of the palazzos directly.

There is no official ticket office, which is why there is no way to find out the cost of a ticket for the Palio di Siena in advance. The same can be said about the stands set up on the outskirts of the piazza. This perfect compromise between comfort and the spirit of the contradaiolo is only available by asking about and hoping that there is an available place. The price for this type of ticket for the Palio di Siena starts from about €60.

Some tips for attending the Palio di Siena​

According to the new rules, in force since 2017, children under the age of 12 cannot enter Piazza del Campo on the day of the Palio. Therefore, it you want to attend the event with the whole family, then it is a good idea to reserve a place in the stands. The website ilpalio.org, authorised by the Consorzio per la Tutela del Palio di Siena, the consortium that protects the Palio, makes its own official email available (siena.@ilpalio.org) to help tourists to find the right place from which to watch the event.

If you want to spend a few days in  Siena so that you can enjoy all the events dedicated to the Palio, or you want to spend some time in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, then an interesting solution for overnight accommodation comes from Hotel Il Borgo, located in an old stone village near Montalcino and just an hour away from Siena. At the Castello Banfi Wine Resort you can also enjoy the best of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine in our ristorante La Sala dei Grappoli with its sophisticated menu and selected wines from Banfi.

The Contrade at the Palio di Siena in August 2022​

Sunday 10 July, a few days after the Palio that saw the Dragon Contrada win the race, the three contrade that will join the other seven with the right to race on 16 August. Here are the contrade taking part in the Palio di Siena on August 16th:

Tartuca, Lupa, Giraffa, Civetta, Leocorno, Nicchio, Valdimontone, Onda, Selva, Chiocciola

Palio di Siena 2022: programme

The Palio di Siena is more than a simple sporting event or historical re-enactment. It is an authentic celebration that involves the whole city of Siena over several days, with a sporting and cultural programme entirely dedicated to the city itself. The contradaioli (people from each Contrada) prepare for the Palio all year round, living it on a daily basis, but if you choose to visit Siena during the Palio, you will certainly not feel left out: the passion of the contradaioli, their enthusiasm for the race and their competitive spirit, together with an atmosphere of days gone by make staying in the city an even more magical, compelling event.

The “Tratta”

The August Palio starts on August 13th, with the so-called Tratta, when the 10 horses are chosen to take run in the final race. The horses are taken through their paces in Piazza del Campo, and the most suitable are then selected (there are usually at least thirty horses taking part).

The most awaited moment of the day is the assignment of the horses. Contrade and riders are then put together by draw, and for a tourist who is seeing the Palio di Siena for the first time, this must be one of the most exciting moments of the whole event. In the afternoon, it is time for the First Trial, which takes place around 7:15pm.

General Trial Dinner​

The second and third days are entirely dedicated to the trials, while the evening before the race, which is August 15th, there is a mounted charge by the Siena’s Carabinieri and the General Rehearsal Dinner, held by each individual contrada. This event, which is quite like the feasts held in Mediaeval times is also open to tourists and non-contradaioli, but it is necessary to book in advance and to remember that the whole event is managed individually by each of the contrade.

Race and other events ​ 

On August 16th, the day of the race itself, the Palio di Siena programme has even more events: from the Messa del Fantino, the riders’ mass, celebrated by the Archbishop in the chapel alongside the Palazzo Comunale, to the final trial, known as the Provaccia, and then the blessing of both horse and rider, concluding with the fabulous historic parade (start: 3:50 pm from Piazza del Duomo) and finally, the thrill of the race (7:15 pm).

The prize-giving to the winning Contrada takes place straight after the race, with the handing over of the Drappellone, the painted silk hanging, which is first taken to the Cathedral for a “Te deum” of thanks, and then to the Contrada. This year, the Drappellone is the work of artist Andrea Anastasio

 

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