Smithsonian Journeys Dispatches

Video: Il Palio de Siena

Since the 17th century the ancient city of Siena, Italy has celebrated its patron saints with unique verve. The Palio de Sienais a one-of-a-kind bareback horse race held twice each summer in Siena's main Plaza del Campo. Ten riders, each representing a city ward, take part in the race.

As famous as the race itself is the Corteo Storico, the fantastic pageant that precedes the race. The Sienese come out in their best medieval costumes, banners flying, drums playing, and cannons at the ready. Watch below for a taste of the Palio.

Can't wait to see the Palio for yourself? Click here to learn more about our Tuscany Family Journey, where you'll spend a day at the Palio, experiencing a 350-year-old tradition up close.

Click here to see all of our travel to Italy.

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