The Palio of Siena (Palio di Siena) is a competition between contradas of Siena in the form of a medieval horse race that takes place twice a year: July 2 run the Palio di Provenzano (in honor of the Madonna of Provenzano) and on 16 August the Palio dell'Assunta (in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin).
On rare occasions, as was the first man on the moon, or anniversaries understood as relevant and pertinent, as the anniversary of the Unification of Italy, Siena community may decide to make an extraordinary Palio, held between May and September.
The race, one of the oldest in the world, takes place in the central square of Siena, Piazza del Campo
In each participating Palio ten contradas between total seventeen, chosen by lot and by a shift from July to August in July and August.
The mechanism is as follows:
They run right contradas seven who have not taken the previous year's corresponding Palio;
A month before the Palio (last Sunday of May for July Palio and the first after the July Palio Palio for August) are chosen by lot three contradas that will complete the series of ten.
The other seven are elected to set the order of rank in the historical procession and take part in the Palio by law for the following year (keeping the order of choice).
The Palio is won by the horse, with or without a rider, after you have completed the first three laps of the square clockwise (tradition says as long as it takes in the spennacchiera forehead, or the rosette with colors the neighborhood for which it is running, in fact this is only a decorative value and visual aid, see art. Regulation 70 of the Palio). The start or Mossa, is up to the passage from Costarella dei Barbieri.
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